Dontrelle Willis pitched a six-hitter and Mike Lowell homered twice, leading the Florida Marlins over the Astros, 5-2, last night in Houston.
"He was in complete control of the game except for one inning," Florida Manager Jack McKeon said, "and he got out of that."
Coming off his first loss of the season against Los Angeles last week, Willis (4-1) bounced back with a strong performance facing the NL's top-hitting team.
Willis's herky-jerky delivery baffled the Astros, not surprising considering it was the first time Houston had faced the left-hander. The 2003 NL rookie of the year walked two and struck out one in his third career complete game.
"When you're trying to pick up his release, you just can't get caught up in the motion," said Houston's Craig Biggio, who finished 0 for 4. "There's always a couple guys in the league that are like that and they're tough to hit."
Wade Miller (4-3) took the loss, leaving in the sixth inning because of tightness in his neck. He was listed as day to day -- he missed eight starts back in 2002 with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Lowell's second towering shot to left field in the sixth was the go-ahead run and Jeff Conine followed with an RBI single to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead.
Luis Castillo doubled in Juan Pierre in the seventh and Conine homered in the eighth. The World Series champions ended a four-game road losing streak.
* DODGERS 4, CUBS 0: Wilson Alvarez held Chicago scoreless into the eighth, Alex Cora hit a two-run homer, and host Los Angeles won its sixth in a row.
Alvarez (2-0) gave up five hits in 72/3 innings with his second impressive outing in a row since rejoining the Dodgers' starting rotation. He struck out eight and walked one.
* BREWERS 4, EXPOS 3: Lyle Overbay extended his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games with a two-run double that helped host Milwaukee to its second straight come-from-behind win over Montreal.
Overbay's big hit came during a four-run sixth inning that erased a 3-0 deficit. A night earlier, Milwaukee came back from five runs down in the ninth and won 8-5 in 14 innings.
* CARDINALS 5, BRAVES 2: Matt Morris pitched eight solid innings, helping host St. Louis win its third straight.
So Taguchi and Jim Edmonds homered and Edgar Renteria had two hits and two RBI for the Cardinals, who won the opener 5-1.
They have won three in a row for the first time since April 20-22, when they swept the Astros in Houston.
* GIANTS 4, PHILLIES 3: Jason Schmidt homered and allowed six hits over eight innings, leading host San Francisco over Philadelphia.
Pedro Feliz homered twice and Jeffrey Hammonds also connected for the Giants, who stopped Philadelphia's season-high four-game winning streak. Barry Bonds failed to reach base for the first time in 31 games this season, going 0 for 4.
* METS 1, DIAMONDBACKS 0: Kazuo Matsui's home run to start the game gave Tom Glavine and visiting New York the win over Randy Johnson and Arizona. Glavine (5-2) and Johnson (3-4) each allowed three hits in a duel between two of the game's best lefties.
* PADRES 2, REDS 1: Brian Giles hit a two-run homer in the first and host San Diego made the most of its six hits in beating Cory Lidle and Cincinnati.
* PIRATES-ROCKIES, PPD.: The game in Denver was rained out. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.