NL East Roundup

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Florida 11, Atlanta 4
Dontrelle Willis pitched seven innings for another sharp April start and the Florida Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 11-4 Friday night.

It was also the first game and win for Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez against the Braves, where he was the third-base coach the previous four seasons.

Willis (3-0) is 12-1 with a .923 winning percentage in April. That's the second-best career percentage in April to the 13-1, .929 of Babe Ruth, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Willis' only loss in 18 April starts was last season, a 3-1 setback at Chicago. The 25-year-old will try to match Ruth's record next week -- probably Wednesday -- at the New York Mets.

Hanley Ramirez had two hits and scored three runs for the Marlins, who had lost two straight. Cody Ross, Dan Uggla, Miguel Olivo and Joe Borchard drove in two runs apiece.

Willis allowed three earned runs and eight hits. He struck out five and walked one over 107 pitches.

Florida jumped on Atlanta starter Mark Redman (0-2) for five runs in the first inning. Olivo drove in two with a bases-loaded single. Ross followed with a two-run double and scored on a sacrifice fly from Aaron Boone.

The Marlins added two more in the third on Borchard's two-run single, ending the night for Redman, who allowed six hits and seven earned runs in 2 2-3 innings.

Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer off Willis in the third as Atlanta lost its second in a row. Andruw Jones scored on Willis' balk in the sixth.

Atlanta's Chad Paronto left with a strained muscle in the seventh inning, limping off the mound after throwing a third strike past Ross.

The Marlins added two unearned runs in the eighth when right-fielder Jeff Francoeur dropped Borchard's fly ball. Miguel Cabrera had a RBI single and Josh Willingham added a run-scoring groundout.

Mets 3, Nationals 2
48-year-old pinch-hitter Julio Franco singled up the middle to drive in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 3-2.

Washington's John Patterson, seeking his first win in nearly a year, left with a 2-1 lead but Carlos Delgado hit a tying single in the sixth. Ryan Wagner gave up the lead in the seventh and the 2-9 Nationals lost for the seventh time in eight games.

Aaron Heilman is 1-1 with the win. Scott Schoeneweis pitched a one-two-three eighth, and Billy Wagner did the same in the ninth for his third save.

Houston 9, Philadelphia 6
Carlos Lee hit three homers, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs and the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-6. Morgan Ensberg had a three-run shot.

Roy Oswalt improved to 2-0, but wasn't overly sharp. Oswalt was uncharacteristically wild, walking a career-high six batters while allowing six runs and seven hits in five innings on a chilly night.

Brett Myers is 0-2 with the loss.

The struggling Phillies fell to 2-and-8, a terrible start to a season that began with playoff expectations.


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