Dontrelle Willis looked like a giddy little kid, grinning broadly after his fourth shutout of the season.
Willis became the NL's first 13-game winner, pitching a three-hitter to lead the Florida Marlins past the Mets, 3-0, yesterday in New York.
''It's fun," Willis said. ''If you're not having fun, I don't know what to tell you. It's a backyard game."
Willis (13-3) handcuffed the Mets, allowing just two runners after the first inning. He pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and gave up only one hit over the final eight innings.
He struck out seven and walked one in his league-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.
Willis also felt a little lucky. In the ninth inning, he hit leadoff batter Mike Cameron with a pitch. Then, after Willis struck out Carlos Beltrán, Mike Piazza banged a comebacker off the lefthander's leg. The ball rolled just a few feet away and Willis made the play.
Astros 9, Reds 0 -- Roger Clemens pitched seven shutout innings and got two hits as visiting Houston sent Cincinnati to its worst first-half record (31-50) in 71 years.
Clemens (7-3) allowed four hits and one walk with four strikeouts, lowering his major league-leading ERA to 1.41. He has allowed just one run in 46 innings over seven starts on the road. He also drove in a run with a single and hit a ground-rule double.
Nationals 5, Cubs 4 -- Brian Schneider hit a solo homer in the 12th, and Washington, which has won six straight, overcame Chad Cordero's first blown save in more than two months to complete a three-game sweep of host Chicago.
Cardinals 5, Rockies 4 -- Abraham Nunez singled in the winning run in the ninth as St. Louis denied Colorado its first road series win of the year.
Braves 4, Phillies 3 -- Ryan Langerhans hit a leadoff triple against Billy Wagner in the ninth and scored the tiebreaking run on Wilson Betemit's sacrifice fly, sending Atlanta past host Philadelphia.
Pirates 11, Brewers 10 -- Matt Lawton had four singles and snapped an eighth-inning tie by scoring on a wild pitch as Pittsburgh rallied from a six-run deficit to win in Milwaukee.
Padres 9, Giants 6 -- Khalil Greene drove in four runs and Brian Giles had three hits and three RBIs for host San Diego, which roughed up Jason Schmidt and visiting San Francisco.