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D-Train's longest career winless skid ends as Marlins win

DENVER (AP) -- Dontrelle Willis wasn't exactly relieved to end
his long losing streak.

As far as he was concerned, he'd said goodbye to his funk long
ago.

"It didn't seem that long," Willis said after he led Florida
past the Colorado Rockies 4-2 Friday night for his first win since
April 14. "Especially of late, I have been able to throw the ball
a little better. I haven't gotten the results, but I like what I've
done."

Willis (2-6) had lost a career-high six straight decisions
although he's compiled a 2.40 ERA over his last four starts, lower
than last year, when he went 22-10 and was runner-up for the Cy
Young Award.

The difference this time was he got some run support, including
a solo homer by Jeremy Hermida, who went 3-for-4.

"We got him four runs tonight, and obviously we'd like to have
more, but we're not going to be greedy," Marlins manager Joe
Girardi said. "He pitched great. He gave up two solo home runs
that didn't hurt him."

Snapping his skid at Coors Field was extra-special.

"This meant something: to end the streak in this ballpark and
against a tough team. This is a team that capitalizes on mistakes
and I made a point of keeping mistakes to a minimum," Willis said.
"They hit the ball down. The couple of times I got up they hit
home runs. It tells you right there you have to keep the ball
down."

The Marlins also won for the first time in seven road starts by
Willis, who allowed home runs to light-hitting Ryan Spilborghs (his
second) and Clint Barmes (his third) -- but both came with the bases
empty.

"Another key was keeping focused after giving up home runs,"
Willis said. "I gave them up, but I didn't let them continue the
trend."

Willis pitched his way out of a jam after Barmes' homer made it
3-2 with one out in the seventh. He surrendered a single to Choo
Freeman and walked pinch-hitter Eli Marrero but got Jamey Carroll
to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

"Carroll is a guy that has worn me out since I've been in the
big leagues," Willis said. "It was a big pitch in a big
situation. Even in this park, good pitches turn into home runs."

Reggie Abercrombie's sacrifice fly off David Cortes in the
eighth made it 4-2, and Logan Kensing pitched the final two innings
for his first career save, striking out four, allowing no hits and
plunking one batter.

"He had a pretty easy eighth, plus it's just trying to expand
people's roles," Girardi said. "I liked the way he was throwing
the ball, so I left him in."

Colorado right-hander Josh Fogg (3-4) allowed three earned runs
on seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Catcher Yorvit Torrealba made his long-awaited debut for the
Rockies, who have lost eight of 10 to slip to .500 (27-27).

After his trade from Seattle in December, Torrealba bulked up
with the help of a personal trainer, but the added muscle and
reduced mobility resulted in a strained throwing shoulder at spring
training that required two months of rest and rehab.

Torrealba was activated from the 15-day DL Friday and went
0-for-3.

"It was like an opening day for me. Too bad we lost, definitely
happy and excited that I'm playing," Torrealba said.

Torrealba's passed ball led to a Florida run in the second. He
said Fogg's slider didn't break and it glanced off his outstretched
mitt, allowing Hanley Ramirez to score from third to make it 2-0.

Torrealba had his first play at the plate an inning later and
tagged out Hermida, who led off with a triple and was thrown out by
Fogg on Willis' safety squeeze attempt.

"If nothing else, he got to catch five guys out of the pen,"
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "He got to catch half the
staff tonight. So, we sped up his development."

With the Rockies outfield shifted way to the left on Hermida in
the sixth, the left-handed batter pulled a pitch into the
right-field bleachers above the scoreboards for his second homer of
the season and a 3-1 Florida lead.

"I saw they had a shift on, but I'm not going to change my
approach at the plate to try and hit a ball with that," Hermida
said. "I just try to hit the ball wherever it is pitched."

Fogg left two pitches inside and belt-high, the second of which
Hermida sent into the seats an inning after Spilborghs' second
career home run had cut the Marlins' lead to 2-1.

Game notes
Rockies radio announcer Jack Corrigan is recovering from a
stroke he suffered Tuesday in San Diego. ... Willis is one win shy
of matching A.J. Burnett's club record of 49.