MIAMI (AP) -- The Florida Marlins played in front of their
smallest crowd since 2002 on Monday night, and for that they can be
With the home team blowing a late four-run lead for Dontrelle
Willis against Philadelphia, it was better to keep witnesses to a
Pat Burrell homered for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to
cap the comeback against Willis, and the Phillies won 8-5 before
"We seem to have done anything and everything to let a team
back in the game, including myself," Willis said.
The left-hander took a one-hitter and a 5-1 lead into the
seventh, but the Phillies tied the game with a three-run infield
hit thanks to a mental gaffe by rookie second baseman Dan Uggla. It
was a hero-to-goat transition for Uggla, who hit a two-run homer
and scored from second base on a groundout.
"That was huge to come back," Burrell said. "Against one of
the better pitchers in the game, they have a 5-1 lead going into
the seventh inning. You're not going to win that game many times."
Willis (1-2) gave up eight earned runs, matching his career
high, in 7 1-3 innings. He hit three batters and threw two wild
Last-place Florida has lost a season-high four straight games
and seven of eight. But even in that context, the ugliness of the
latest loss stood out.
"This isn't supposed to happen," manager Joe Girardi said.
"You're up 5-1 and we're rolling along. It's frustrating. It seems
like any mistake we make costs us."
Florida left the bases loaded twice, including in the eighth
against Arthur Rhodes. Tom Gordon pitched a perfect ninth for his
seventh save in as many chances, and Rheal Cormier (1-0) earned the
win by getting the only batter he faced to hit into a double play.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel missed the comeback; he was
ejected in the fourth inning by second base umpire Angel Hernandez
for disputing a forceout call. Manuel was also thrown out of a
victory over Florida in Philadelphia last month.
The Marlins began to unravel when Willis hit the leadoff batter
with a changeup in the seventh, then gave up a single to David
Bell. A groundout advanced the runners, Mike Lieberthal singled
home a run and pinch-hitter Abraham Nunez reached when third
baseman Miguel Cabrera failed to make a clean play on his infield
single, loading the bases.
Jimmy Rollins hit into a forceout at home, leaving Willis on the
verge of escaping with a 5-2 lead.
But when Uggla tried to make a leaping catch of Shane
Victorino's looping liner in short right field, the ball deflected
off the heel of his glove for a single. Two runs scored, and
Rollins stopped at third.
Then Uggla retrieved the ball, casually walked it back toward
the infield and tossed it to Willis.
"Uggla wasn't looking to third," Rollins said. "I was
creeping, and as soon as I saw the ball come forward, I just took
"Instead of calling time out, I toss the ball and next thing I
know, Jimmy takes off," Uggla said. "Lesson learned."
Rollins easily crossed the plate to make it 5-all.
"We fall asleep, and the guy scores," Girardi said. "It can't
Burrell jumped on a sinker down the middle leading off the
eighth for his eighth homer. Alex Gonzalez singled home a run to
end Willis' night, and Rollins added a two-out RBI single.
"It definitely hurts, because I felt like I let my team down,"
Willis said. "I have to find a way to get outs late in the game,
especially when they're making a charge."
The crowd was the Marlins' smallest since April 19, 2002,
when they drew 5,148 against Montreal. ... Marlins RF Jeremy
Hermida (hip flexor) complained of stiffness after playing three
innings in a rehabilitation assignment Monday for Single-A Jupiter,
delaying his scheduled return Wednesday from the disabled list.
He'll be re-evaluated Tuesday. ... Willis said he'll donate $100
for each of his strikeouts to the "Strikeouts for Troops"
campaign, with proceeds benefiting injured soldiers. ... Cabrera
walked twice against Phils starter Ryan Madson but went 0-for-1,
dropping his average against the right-hander to .143 (2-for-14).
... The ERA for Phillies starters rose to 5.81. ... Philadelphia RF
Bobby Abreu, held out of the starting lineup for the first time
this season, pinch hit in the eighth and was intentionally walked.