NEW YORK (AP) – Dontrelle Willis became the National League’s first 13-game winner, pitching a three-hitter to lead the Florida Marlins past the New York Mets 3-0 Sunday.

Willis (13-3) allowed just two baserunners after the first inning and threw his major league-leading fourth shutout of the season in his 17th start.

He handcuffed the Mets after pitching his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and was never in trouble after that. The high-kicking left-hander also singled and scored in the third.

Willis struck out seven and walked one in his NL-leading fifth complete game, lowering his ERA to 1.89. Jon Garland of the Chicago White Sox is the only other 13-game winner in the majors.

Florida scored against Victor Zambrano (4-7) in the first inning without hitting a ball out of the infield.

Leadoff batter Juan Pierre punched a single past third baseman David Wright, who was playing in to defend against a bunt. Pierre stole second on the first pitch to Luis Castillo, his 21st steal of the season. Castillo followed with an infield hit, and Pierre scored when second baseman Miguel Cairo threw wide for an error.

Singles by Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran helped the Mets load the bases with one out in the first, but Willis escaped by striking out Wright and Chris Woodward.

In the third, Willis singled with one out and raced to third when Pierre dropped a double just inside the foul line in right field. Willis then scored on a passed ball.

Alex Gonzalez opened the Florida seventh with a single just beyond the reach of Cairo at second base. Willis walked on four pitches and Pierre advanced the runners with a sacrifice. Castillo delivered a sacrifice fly, making it 3-0.

After his first-inning trouble, Willis retired 10 straight batters before Woodward had a two-out double in the fourth. But Cairo flied out, and Willis did not allow another baserunner until he hit Cameron with a pitch in the ninth inning.

Notes: Willis is 6-1 with a 2.04 ERA in nine career starts against the Mets. … Juan Encarnacion reached base safely in 10 straight plate appearances before he grounded out in the second inning. Encarnacion, who went 0-for-4, had seven hits, two walks and was hit by a pitch in the first two games of the series. … Castillo stretched his Shea Stadium hitting streak to 31 games. It is the longest run in the 42-season history of the ballpark.

AP-ES-07-03-05 1550EDT


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