Marlins
Reds
3 - 5 Final
  for this game

Harang outduels Willis as Reds win fourth straight

Aug 25, 2007 - 3:52 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- In a battle of staff aces, Aaron Harang trumped Dontrelle Willis.

Harang tossed seven solid innings and Brandon Phillips had three hits and two RBI as the Cincinnati Reds held on for a 5-3 victory over Willis and the Florida Marlins in the opener of a three-game set on Friday night.

Javier Valentin also drove in two runs for the Reds, who tied a season high with their fourth straight win and improved to 50-0 when leading after eight innings.

Valentin's key hits off Willis were impressive because they came from the right side. He started the game hitting .214 righthanded compared to .297 lefthanded.

"A lot of switch-hitters get a knock for not being able to hit from one side of the plate or another because they don't get enough at-bats," Reds manager Pete Mackanin said.

Phillips, who tripled home a run in the eighth to leave himself short of the cycle by a double, loves to play when Harang (13-3) is on the mound.

"I didn't know about the cycle until (a reporter) asked. I don't think about anything but winning," Phillips said. "To tell you the truth, it's easier to play when Harang pitches. You know, he'll go out there and throw strikes."

"You feel like you're going to win every time (Harang) goes out there," Mackanin said.

On a steamy, 96-degree night, Harang (13-3) outdueled Willis, allowing three runs and eight hits while striking out five and walking one.

"These are the kind of games you get up for," Harang said. "It's fun to go up against Willis. He has the odd mechanics but he's fun to watch."

Gary Majewski tossed the eighth and David Weathers pitched a scoreless ninth for his 28th save.

Willis (8-13) did not seem to have his good stuff but was crafty enough to limit the damage against him. The lefthander yielded five runs and eight hits, striking out four and walking one while tossing 111 pitches through 7 2/3 frames.

"He did what he does every night," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He gives you every opportunity to win the game. We need to win a couple of these close games and get hot ourselves. We can't leave men on base."

"It's tough because we're competitive right to the end," Willis said. "We didn't get the breaks. I've been feeling better the last five or six starts. I just wanted to help us stay in the game."

Willis knew it would be tough against Harang, who is the first Reds pitcher to win at least 13 of his first 16 decisions since Tom Seaver was 14-2 in 1981.

"We know going against Harang that he will pitch deep in the game," Willis said. "I wanted to go as deep as I could. The better team definitely won tonight, you have to tip your cap to them."

The Reds broke through against Willis in the fifth thanks to Phillips, who belted his 24th homer, the most by a Cincinnati second baseman since Bret Boone hit 24 in 1998.

Edwin Encarnacion then added a one-out single and was plated by Valentin's double, which extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games.

The Marlins answered against Harang in the next frame.

Mike Jacobs smacked his 12th homer of the season to right field with one out. An out later, Jeremy Hermida singled and Matt Treanor belted a two-run shot to give the Marlins a 3-2 advantage.

Jeff Keppinger extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a home run off the top of the wall in left-center field to tie the game in the sixth.

The Reds looked ready to knock Willis out of the game in the seventh after Jorge Cantu singled and Encarnacion doubled to put runners on second and third with none out. Valentin singled off shortstop Hanley Ramirez's glove to make it 4-3.

Willis then was able to force Encarnacion at third on Jason Ellison's sacrifice attempt. Batting for Harang, Alex Gonzalez hit a low line drive to third, where Miguel Cabrera made a nice snag and turned it into an inning-ending double play.

Treanor had two RBI and Willis collected two hits for the Marlins, who have lost nine of their last 10 games.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 10 0
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 1 x 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - DONTRELLE WILLIS, JUSTIN MILLER (8TH), TAYLOR TANKERSLEY (8TH)
    AND MATT TREANOR
    CIN - AARON HARANG, GARY MAJEWSKI (8TH), DAVID WEATHERS
    (9TH) AND JAVIER VALE

    Aug 24 9:46 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED JEFF KEPPINGER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B PHILLIPS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3
    CINCINNATI 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J CANTU (.500, 1-FOR-3)

    Marlins vs. RedsAug 24 9:27 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JAVIER VALENTIN SCORED JORGE CANTU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VALENTIN ON FIRST, E ENCARNACION ON
    SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3
    CINCINNATI 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J ELLISON (.091, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. RedsAug 24 9:02 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JEFF KEPPINGER (4) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF DONTRELLE WILLIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3, CINCINNATI 3
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: K GRIFFEY JR (.279, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. RedsAug 24 8:44 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MATT TREANOR (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF AARON HARANG SCORED JEREMY HERMIDA.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3, CINCINNATI 2
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A DE AZA (.269, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. RedsAug 24 8:39 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE JACOBS (12) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF AARON HARANG.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 1, CINCINNATI 2
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J WILLINGHAM (.275, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Marlins vs. RedsAug 24 8:35 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JAVIER VALENTIN SCORED EDWIN ENCARNACION.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J VALENTIN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    CINCINNATI 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J ELLISON (.100, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. RedsAug 24 8:24 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRANDON PHILLIPS (24) TO LEFT CENTER WITH
    0 OUT IN THE 5TH OFF DONTRELLE WILLIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0, CINCINNATI 1
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J CANTU (.500, 0-FOR-1)

    Marlins vs. RedsAug 24 8:18 PM