MIAMI (AP) -- Angry after giving up a run, Dontrelle Willis
shouted at the plate umpire as he walked off the mound. One inning
later, he threw a celebratory roundhouse punch as he skipped to the
And when Miguel Cabrera delivered the tiebreaking hit, Willis
leaped off the bench to lead the cheers.
The Marlins were widely projected to lose 100 games this season,
but their latest victory left them only four games behind NL
wild-card leaders Cincinnati and Arizona. Florida won two of three
games from the NL East-leading Mets.
"If we can win every series, that's big. We have to gain
ground," Willis said. "But we're not talking about the wild card.
We're just talking about winning."
Cabrera's three-run double broke a tie with two outs in the
eighth inning, giving Willis (7-8) his first victory since July 7.
The left-hander retired the side in order only once but limited New
York to an unearned run in eight innings.
Florida's Mike Jacobs broke a scoreless tie with a two-out homer
in the sixth, his 15th.
"This series has probably had the most emotion for us this
year," Jacobs said. "We're playing the first-place team in our
division; we definitely feel like we can play with anybody in this
Cabrera then pulled a pitch into the left field corner, and all
three runners scored. Jacobs was safe at the plate when he kicked
the ball out of catcher Paul Lo Duca's glove.
"I had to get the hit for Dontrelle, because he pitched a great
game," Cabrera said.
Heilman was pitching for the third straight night since setup
man Duaner Sanchez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in a
taxi accident Sunday.
"I thought I made a pretty good pitch to Cabrera," Heilman
said. "You try to put it behind you as quick as possible and move
The crowd of 24,097 again included plenty of transplanted New
Yorkers who frequently chanted "Let's go, Mets!" But the Marlins,
accustomed to skimpy crowds, didn't mind.
"It's just neat to see the stands filled up," Jacobs said.
While the Mets bring out big crowds in Miami, they also bring
out the best in Willis, who improved to 10-2 against them. He
allowed seven hits and three walks but was helped by three double
He showed a rare flash of anger in the seventh after allowing
the Mets' only run. Willis thought he had Julio Franco struck out
on consecutive pitches before giving up the single, and after the
inning he argued at length with umpire Mike Reilly.
"It's the first time all year I've seen him upset like that.
And that's OK," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.
"He has a lot of energy. He brings a great presence and a lot
of excitement to the ballpark. He uses his emotion to his benefit
sometimes. And I thought that's as good a game as he has pitched
Joe Borowski pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 25
Martinez, making his second start after missing a month with an
inflamed right hip, pitched six innings before he departed for a
pinch hitter trailing 1-0. He gave up four hits, walked none,
struck out nine and threw 100 pitches.
He regretted only the cutter he threw down the middle to Jacobs.
"I guess God made life simple and easy for us, and we
complicate it ourselves by making mistakes," Martinez said. "I
felt pretty good. I'm just trying to get back on track and give
myself some stamina."
New York's run came in the seventh. Franco, pinch hitting for
Martinez, hit a one-hop single that handcuffed right fielder Jeremy
Hermida, who let the ball get past him for an error. Franco
continued to third and scored on Jose Reyes' groundout.
But for the most part, Willis was helped by his defense. New
York had runners at the corners with one out in the fourth and
fifth innings, and nifty glove work rescued the left-hander both
In the fourth, Cabrera made a nice pickup at third base to start
an inning-ending double play, and second baseman Dan Uggla did the
same in the fifth with a diving stop.
"Our double plays probably saved two runs," Girardi said.
Willis won his only previous matchup against Martinez last
September. ... Martinez is 17 strikeouts shy of 3,000. ... Mets 3B
David Wright was 4-for-23 on their trip before he singled in