MIAMI - Dontrelle Willis needed only one run of support last night.
He did that all by himself.
Willis had a two-run single in a six-run eighth inning to help the Florida Marlins stop the Washington Nationals' modest two-game winning streak with a 9-0 victory before a crowd of 19,327.
Willis was nearly perfect on the mound, allowing just five singles and one walk in the complete game shutout. It was the third of his young career.
No runner reached even second base against Willis until the ninth inning, when the Nationals put two runners on. That ended in one of the Marlins' four double plays on the night. While Willis cruised, Miguel Cabrera made sure the effort wouldn't be wasted. The outfielder's bases-empty homer to left against Tomo Ohka in the first went 426 feet. And that was his "cheapie."
"He just seems to have our number," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said of Willis. "He pitched a heck of a game."
In the eighth, Cabrera smashed a 443-foot, two-run shot to left against Antonio Osuna as the Marlins put the game out of reach.
It was the beginning of a nightmare for Osuna, who retired just one batter and was charged with six runs on three hits and three walks. It was the most runs the veteran had ever allowed in a game.
Ohka (0-1) did his part to keep the team close, allowing just five hits in six strong innings against a tough Marlins lineup.
Unfortunately for Ohka, two of those hits were bases-empty homers, one to Cabrera and the other to Mike Lowell in the sixth.
"Ohka wasn't real good out there. He looked like he was uncomfortable," Robinson said. "He never really got in his groove. I was surprised he survived as long a she did." Willis (1-0) did the rest.
The 23-year-old left-hander and former Rookie of the Year actually had more hits (two) than any one Nationals player.
"He's a good one," said Nationals right fielder Jose Guillen. "When he's on top of his game, he's moving the ball real well and throwing strikes."
NOTES: A magnetic resonance imaging exam on first baseman Wil Cordero's left knee showed damage to the same cartilage he tore last season. The MRI revealed a new tear of the medial meniscus, according to Nationals team physician Bruce Thomas. Thomas said Cordero would undergo surgery Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to repair the tear.
Marlins team doctor Dan Kanell, who repaired a torn medial and lateral meniscus in Cordero's left knee 11 months ago, will perform the operation.
Cordero, 33, is expected to be out six to eight weeks, Thomas said. ...
Outfielder Alex Escobar, who has been on the disabled list with a right quadriceps injury, will have screws removed from his troubled right foot Monday by orthopedic foot specialist Dr. Lew Schon in Baltimore. The doctor also will perform a bone graft at the same time, forcing Escobar to be out for approximately three months, Thomas said.
Opponent: Florida Marlins
Site, time: Dolphins Stadium, Miami, 6:05
TV/Radio: Ch. 20/1050 AM
Starters: Nationals' Livan Hernandez (0-1, 13.50) vs. Marlins' Brian Moehler (0-0, 0.00)
Next 7 games
Date Opponent Time
4/9 at Florida 6:05
4/10 at Florida 1:05
4/11 at Atlanta 7:35
4/12 at Atlanta 7:35
4/13 at Atlanta 1:05
4/14 Arizona 7:05
4/16 Arizona 7:05