Willis shelled in second consecutive start

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With his spot in the starting rotation
potentially in jeopardy, Vicente Padilla was much better than
Dontrelle Willis.

The right-hander allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings and
tripled in two runs off the struggling Willis, leading the
Philadelphia Phillies over the Florida Marlins 8-4 Sunday.

Mike Lieberthal homered and Tomas Perez doubled in two runs off
Willis (13-5), who had his second straight poor outing and failed
to join St. Louis' Chris Carpenter as the NL's only 14-game

The All-Star left-hander allowed eight runs -- matching his
season high -- and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He was coming off his
worst start of the season, when he gave up eight runs and nine hits
in 4 1/3 innings of a 9-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs on July 8.

Marlins manager Jack McKeon wasn't concerned about Willis.

"He'll pitch out of it," McKeon said. "He's a pro and works
hard. He'll figure out a way to straighten himself out."

Philadelphia won three of four in the series and scored 38 runs
in the four games. Padilla (5-8) didn't need much help Sunday.

The right-hander allowed back-to-back singles by Willis and Juan
Pierre in the third, but escaped his lone jam when Luis Castillo
grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Padilla fell to 2-7 with a 6.69 ERA on July 1, and there was
talk of him being moved to the bullpen. Padilla followed with two
strong starts, which didn't surprise manager Charlie Manuel.

"Usually it helps guys," Manuel said. "It works one of two
ways. It usually helps them or hurts them because they try too

Padilla, who hasn't allowed a run in his last two starts,
spanning 13 innings, struck out a season-high five and walked two.

"(Padilla) has changed his attitude," Phillies pitching coach
Rich Dubee said. "He needed to be aggressive and attack the strike
zone. He has the potential and ability to pitch very well for us.
Charlie had a talk with him just two days ago to tell him how
important he is to us. He was very receptive."

The 104 pitches and seven innings were both season highs for
Padilla, who missed four starts this season with various injuries.

"He's feeling healthy again," Manuel said.

Pinch-hitter Jeff Conine doubled in two runs for Florida, which
was shut out until the ninth and has lost six of its last seven
games. Pierre had two hits.

Padilla was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts against Willis before
lining a triple in the left-center field gap, scoring Jason
Michaels and Ramon Martinez to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the

Chase Utley had a two-out RBI single in the third and Jimmy
Rollins tripled in a run the Phillies took a 4-0 lead.

The Phillies knocked out Willis in the sixth. Lieberthal hit a
solo homer, his ninth, with one out and Martinez was hit by a
pitch. After Padilla sacrificed, Rollins singled to load the bases
before Perez doubled to make it 7-0 and chase Willis. Utley drove
in another run with a single later in the inning.

Six of Philadelphia's eight runs came with two outs.

"I was just missing a lot in the strike zone," Willis said.
"I have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to get
ahead in the count again."

Willis was 3-0 with an 0.82 ERA against the Phillies this season
entering the game.

"This was a big win and a big series for us," Manuel said.

Game notes
Padilla's triple was the first by a Phillies pitcher since
Curt Schilling hit one against Florida on April 16, 1999. ...
Phillies catchers Todd Pratt and Lieberthal went a combined
9-for-16 with four homers and six RBI in the series. Lieberthal
had three of the home runs. ... Willis came into the game 6-1 with
a 1.58 ERA on the road and 3-0 with a 0.58 ERA in day games. ...
The Phillies are 19-11 against left-handed starters, including a
10-4 mark at home. ... Willis is 8-12 in his career after the
All-Star break.