Marlins
Rays
7 - 2 Final
  for this game

Willis gets plenty of help in win over Devil Rays

May 20, 2007 - 3:02 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- The Florida Marlins continue to have success in interleague play.

Dontrelle Willis had his best start this month and Jeremy Hermida and Aaron Boone hit back-to-back homers Saturday to lift the Marlins to a 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Since its inception, Florida has been the best National League team during interleague play, posting a 97-72 record.

"I can't explain it," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If I tried to explain it I'd sound like a fool."

After giving up a leadoff home run to rookie Elijah Dukes in the first inning, Willis (6-3) settled down to pitch seven strong innings, yielding two runs and five hits. The 26-year-old walked three and struck out five.

"I felt good, until those balls went flying over the fence," Willis said. "In my last three starts, I haven't got the results I wanted. We got runs early and played some defense and played confident out there. It's not about results with a young team, it's about the effort. I just go out there and have fun."

The Marlins broke the game open in the sixth, taking a 6-1 advantage on shots by Hermida and Boone. Hermida blasted a two-run shot to right after Josh Willingham led off the inning with a single. Boone wasted no time, sending Jae Seo's next offering just over the left field wall. Boone hit a grand slam in Friday's 8-4 triumph.

"It's always nice," Boone said about the back-to-back homers. "When you're scoring runs and hitting balls out of the park, it makes it fun for everyone. It was a good win for us. That's why you turn the page every day so you can't get too high or low."

Seo (2-4) was chased after 5 2/3 innings. The righthander gave up seven runs, eight hits and two walks.

"It was a difficult outing," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I thought he settled in after that beginning but they got three runs on five pitches. You can't get anyone warmed up at that point."

Florida opened up a 2-0 lead in the first on Miguel Cabrera's RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Hermida. The Devil Rays cut the lead in half when Dukes led off the bottom half with a home run.

Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run - his sixth of the season - in the third inning that gave Florida a 3-1 lead.

The Devil Rays threatened in the third, but Willis got Ty Wigginton to pop out, stranding runners on second and third.

The win was Willis' sixth of the season - first this month - and ties him with the Phillies' Cole Hamels and Astros' Roy Oswalt for the most in the league.

"That's what he gives us," Gonzalez said. "He goes out and keeps us in the ballgame. Tonight he gave us seven strong innings."

Jonny Gomes hit his first home run of the season for Tampa Bay to close the gap to 7-2 in the seventh inning.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 2 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 7 10 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - DONTRELLE WILLIS, TAYLOR TANKERSLEY (8TH), JUSTIN MILLER (9TH)
    AND MIGUEL OLIVO
    TAM - JAE SEO, GARY GLOVER (6TH) AND JOSH PAUL

    HOME RUNS: FLA - HANLEY RAMIR

    May 19 9:46 PM


  • ML
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JONNY GOMES (1) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF DONTRELLE WILLIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 7, TAMPA BAY 2
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J PAUL (.250, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. RaysMay 19 9:12 PM


  • ML
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY DELMON YOUNG ALLOWED MIGUEL OLIVO TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 7
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: D UGGLA (.236, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Marlins vs. RaysMay 19 8:46 PM


  • ML
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AARON BOONE (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF JAE SEO.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 6, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M OLIVO (.228, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. RaysMay 19 8:37 PM


  • ML
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JEREMY HERMIDA (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF JAE SEO SCORED JOSH WILLINGHAM.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 5, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: A BOONE (.292, 0-FOR-1, HBP)

    Marlins vs. RaysMay 19 8:36 PM


  • ML
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HANLEY RAMIREZ (6) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF JAE SEO.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 3, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M CABRERA (.315, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Marlins vs. RaysMay 19 7:51 PM


  • ML
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ELIJAH DUKES (8) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF DONTRELLE WILLIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 2, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.309, 7 HR, 25 RBI)

    Marlins vs. RaysMay 19 7:26 PM


  • ML
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 2 2 2 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: FLA - DONTRELLE WILLIS
    TAM - JAE SEO

    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E DUKES (.210, 7 HR, 12 RBI)
    B UPTON (.309, 7 HR, 25 RBI)
    C CRAWFORD (.289, 5 HR, 23 RBI

    Marlins vs. RaysMay 19 7:23 PM