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Dontrelle Willis: first pitcher since 2004 to hit two home runs in a game

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Florida Marlins 6
New York Mets 3


September 21, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dontrelle Willis is doing everything he can to keep the Florida Marlins in the wild-card race. Just don't call him a power hitter.

Willis hit two home runs and pitched into the ninth inning to lead the Marlins over the New York Mets 6-3 Wednesday night.

Willis also pulled a run-scoring single into right field in Florida's three-run sixth. Matt Treanor's RBI double put the Marlins in front 2-1 before Willis drove him in with a base hit and Hanley Ramirez added a run-scoring groundout.

Willis rounded the bases quickly after each of his homers and said he "just swung," when asked about the two drives in his first career multihomer game. He was happy to be left in the on-deck circle in the top of the ninth, saying he might have been hit by a pitch if he went to the plate.

"It's just a game," he said. "The only thing now is people are going to be expecting me to hit home runs every time I get up and it's not my game, it's not my game at all."

Willis' strong effort helped Florida snap a four-game losing streak and kept alive its dwindling hopes playoff hopes. The Marlins are four games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia, the NL wild-card co-leaders, with 10 games left.

"Obviously, Dontrelle, with his bat and his arm, he did everything tonight," Florida manager Joe Girardi said.

New York's only concern right now is keeping healthy and getting some rest ahead of the postseason. The Mets beat Florida 4-0 Monday night to clinch the NL East title, becoming the first team in the majors to qualify for the playoffs.

Willis (12-11) has won three straight starts for the first time this season. He allowed three runs and seven hits to improve to 3-1 against the Mets this season and 11-2 with a 2.02 ERA in his career. The left-hander is 5-1 with a no-decision in his last seven starts overall.

"He's a strong kid and for some reason he gets up for us," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "I thought he started out kind of slow, I thought we were going to jump on him early. Once he gets into a groove, he's tough."

Willis' three homers this season have all come at Shea Stadium. He also hit a grand slam in Florida's 7-3 win over New York on July 7.

Joe Borowski came on with runners at first and second and got two outs for his 35th save in 42 chances. He retired Jose Reyes on a fly ball with the bases loaded to end it.

Borowski joked afterward that he'd been giving Willis hitting tips, and that was the reason for his big night.

"He was like a regular position player at the bat," Borowski said. "Unbelievable."

Paul Lo Duca, who finished with three hits for the Mets, doubled in a run and scored in the sixth to cut it to 4-3. But Willis hit his second homer of the game in the eighth and Ramirez scored from second on Roberto Hernandez's wild pitch to restore Florida's three-run lead.

Randy Wolf was the last Major League pitcher to hit two homers in a game, doing it for Philadelphia against Colorado on Aug. 11, 2004, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Oliver Perez (3-12) shut out the Marlins over the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth and sixth. He was charged with three runs and five hits over 5 1-3 innings.

Perez got Alfredo Amezaga to fly out with runners on second and third to end the fourth, but Willis hit his first pitch in the fifth over the wall in right-center to tie it at 1. Willis raised his right arm in the air as the ball went out and the crowd booed as he finished rounding the bases.

"When I hit, they always tell me, 'Take the first pitch,"' Perez said. "I was thinking he was going to take the first pitch, but he hit it."

Outfielders Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd were out of the starting lineup again for the Mets. Randolph sent out a lineup full of reserves Tuesday night but put most of his regulars back in for the third of four straight games against the Marlins.

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He is a pretty good hitter at least against the Mets.

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wesferrellbn7.jpg
Wes Ferrell



MLB PITCHERS WITH TWO HOME RUNS IN A GAME (since 1900)

1. Chief Bender, Athletics (May 8, 1906)
2. Ed Willett, Tigers (June 30, 1912)
3. Art Nehf, Giants (1924)
4. Tony Kaufman, Cubs (July 4, 1925)
5. Red Ruffing, Yankees (1930)
6. Wes Ferrell, Indians (August 31, 1931)
7. Bucky Walters, Red Sox (May 13, 1934)
8. Wes Ferrell, Red Sox (August 22, 1934)
9. Wes Ferrell, Red Sox (1934)
10. Hal Schumacher, Giants (1934)
11. Wes Ferrell, Red Sox (July 31, 1935)
12. Mel Harder, Indians (July 31, 1935)
13. Wes Ferrell, Red Sox (1936)
14. Bill Lee, Cubs (1936)
15. Red Ruffing, Yankees (1936)
16. Elden Auker, Tigers (August 14, 1937)
17. Jack Wilson, Red Sox (June 16, 1940)
18. Spud Chandler, Yankees (July 26, 1940)
19. Jim Tobin, Braves (May 13, 1942) [THREE HOME RUNS]
20. Bucky Walters, Reds (May 20, 1945)
21. Bob Lemon, Indians (1949)
22. Ben Wade, Dodgers (July 6, 1952)
23. Don Newcombe, Dodgers (April 14, 1955)
24. Don Newcombe, Dodgers (May 30, 1955)
25. Don Newcombe, Dodgers (Sept. 19, 1956)
26. Billy Hoeft, Tigers (July 14, 1957)
27. Lew Burdette, Braves (August 13, 1957)
28. Lew Burdette, Braves (July 10, 1958)
29. Jack Harshman, Orioles (July 16, 1958)
30. Don Drysdale, Dodgers (August 23, 1958)
31. Jack Harshman, Orioles (September 23, 1958)
32. Don Cardwell, Cubs (September 2, 1960)
33. Glen Hobbie, Cubs (July 2, 1961)
34. Danny Murphy, Cubs (September 27, 1961)
35. Milt Pappas, Orioles (August 27, 1961)
36. Pedro Ramos, Indians (May 30, 1962)
37. Pedro Ramos, Indians (July 31, 1963)
38. Earl Wilson. Red Sox (August 16, 1965)
39. Tony Cloninger, Braves (June 16, 1966)
40. Tony Cloninger, Braves (July 3, 1966) [TWO GRAND SLAMS]
41. Jim Rooker, Royals (July 7, 1969)
42. Rick Wise, Phillies (June 23, 1971) [ALSO PITCHED NO-HITTER]
43. Rick Wise, Phillies (August 28, 1971)
44. Fergie Jenkins, Cubs (September 1, 1971)
45. Sonny Siebert, Red Sox (September 2, 1971)
46. Larry Christensen, Phillies (September 6, 1976)
47. Randy Lerch, Phillies (September 30, 1978)
48. Jim Gott, Giants (May 12, 1985)
49. Derek Lilliquist, Braves (May 1, 1990)
50. Walt Terrell, Mets (August 6, 1983)
51. Darren Dreifort, Dodgers (August 8, 2000)
52. Mike Hampton, Rockies (June 5, 2001)
53. Robert Person, Phillies (June 2, 2002)
54. Randy Wolf, Phillies (August 11, 2004)
55. Dontrelle Willis, Marlins (September 20, 2006)



'still checking on some of the dates -- 'back later to update (in case anyone cares)

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What would be more exciting and rewarding to you, being #40 or #42 ?

 

Pitching and hitting 2 grand slams or pitching a no-hitter and hitting a home run.

 

Cloninger had 5 homers and 23 ribbies in 111 official AB's in '66 with a .414 slugging percentage

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Originally posted by shoelessjoelives

What would be more exciting and rewarding to you, being #40 or #42 ?

As a pitcher, I would choose #42: two home runs and a no-hitter ;)

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