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Marlins' Willis loses despite eight strong innings

MIAMI (AP) -- Noah Lowry was one pitch better than Dontrelle
Willis, which was good enough to beat the Florida Marlins.

Lowry threw 7 1/3 innings and Randy Winn homered off Willis in
the sixth inning to help the San Francisco Giants edge Florida 1-0
Friday night.

The Giants won with only five hits off Willis (15-8), who
pitched eight innings but failed in his bid to tie for the major
league lead in victories. The Oakland, Calif. native fell to 0-3
lifetime against the Giants in five starts with an ERA of 7.83.

Lowry (8-11), who hasn't allowed a run in his past two starts,
gave up just four hits and walked three.

"I had four pitches working for strikes," he said. "And I
made big pitches when I needed to."

He also went 2-for-3, hiking his average to .289.

San Francisco's Jeremy Accardo, recalled before the game from
Triple-A Fresno, replaced Lowry with two on and one out in the
eighth. He needed just one pitch to escape the jam when Miguel
Cabrera grounded a sinker into a double play.

"I tried to do too much," Cabrera said. "I swung too hard."

Accardo, who arrived in Miami at noon after a 12-hour trip from
Fresno, was surprised to be summoned from the bullpen by manager
Felipe Alou.

"Running out there, I felt a little nervous," Accardo said.
"Noah pitched his rear off, and I didn't want to mess that up."

Tyler Walker pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 26
chances, and the Giants won for the seventh time in their past
eight games in Miami.

The Marlins fell four games behind NL wild-card leader Houston.

"Hopefully down the stretch we'll be able to pull out games
like that," Willis said. "You'll look back, and if you lose the
wild card, you'll think about these games and how they could have
turned the season around."

Winn, acquired July 30 from Seattle, provided the winning margin
with a home run for the second game in a row. On Thursday, Winn hit
his first homer since joining the Giants to score two runs off Tim
Hudson and help beat Atlanta.

This time he pulled a fastball from Willis over the scoreboard
in left field.

"He had been getting me out with fastballs all night," Winn
said. "I was able to get one over the plate."

Florida, which came into the game leading the National League in
batting against left-handers, advanced four runners to scoring
position against lefty Lowry. Each time the Giants escaped.

Lowry, 24, allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings in his
last start Saturday, a victory over Houston. He has an ERA of 1.63
in six starts since the All-Star break, and his eight wins this
season are a career high.

"He's going to be some kind of pitcher," Alou said. "He's a
fearless man. I was going to say kid, but he's a man."

Florida's Juan Pierre was hit by a pitch to start the first
inning, but he was thrown out trying to steal. Lowry then retired
11 consecutive batters before Jeff Conine and Juan Encarnacion
singled to start the fifth. Lowry pitched out of the jam by
retiring Mike Lowell, Alex Gonzalez and Willis.

Florida threatened with two on and two outs in the seventh, but
right fielder Todd Linden caught a foul fly as he toppled into the
Marlins' bullpen to retire Damion Easley and end the threat.

Pinch-hitter Chris Aguila hooked a potential homer several feet
foul leading off the Florida eighth.

"When it went off his bat, I thought it was a home run," Lowry
said.

The Marlins, still without injured first baseman Carlos Delgado
and catcher Paul Lo Duca, have totaled eight hits in the past two
games, each a defeat. Both players may rejoin the lineup this
weekend.

Game notes
Florida 2B Luis Castillo came into the game leading the
majors with a batting average of .433 against lefties, but he went
0-for-3 off Lowry. ... The Giants improved to 2-2 on their
season-high 13-game trip. ... Conine argued when he struck out in
the ninth and was ejected by plate umpire Mike Everitt. Manager
Jack McKeon protested Conine's ejection. "He said a word," McKeon
said. "I said [to the umpire], 'Gee, that's common today.' And
then all the fans hollered the same thing. I said, 'See?' "