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Johnson stays hot as Marlins blank Pirates

Apr 20, 2011 - 6:52 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Josh Johnson tossed seven innings of two-hit baseball, helping the Florida Marlins shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-0, in the opener of a three-game series.

Johnson and Gaby Sanchez each drove in two runs for the Marlins, who have won four of five. Hanley Ramirez and John Buck had an RBI apiece.

Johnson (3-0), who struck out nine and walked one, has been sensational to start the 2011 season. The right-hander has surrendered only 10 hits and three earned runs over four starts. He also has fanned 27 batters over that span.

"His slow breaking ball is going at 82 (m.p.h.) and then he follows it up with a 94 or 96 m.p.h. fastball. He's getting confidence with that pitch," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said of Johnson's repertoire.

Paul Maholm (0-3) gave up six runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings for the Pirates, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped.

The Marlins scored all the runs they would need in the second inning. Mike Stanton was hit by a pitch with two outs. Buck and Emilio Bonifacio followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Johnson helped his own cause with a two-run single to right.

Florida broke the game open with a four-run fourth. Stanton and Buck started the frame with consecutive doubles to score a run. Bonifacio singled and Chris Coghlan walked to load the bases. After Omar Infante struck out for the second out, Ramirez walked to force in a run. Mike Crotta took over for Maholm and gave up a two-run bloop single to Sanchez for a 6-0 lead.

Pittsburgh's first hit of the game came in the fifth. Garrett Jones led off with a single off the wall in right.

"It was a fastball down and in. I was anticipating a heater and got a good part of the bat on it," Jones recalled.

Johnson quickly worked out of the inning, though, getting Ryan Doumit to go down swinging and Pedro Alvarez to ground into a double play.

Pinch-hitter John Bowker hit a one-out single for the Pirates in the sixth. This time around, Andrew McCutchen grounded into a double play.

Michael Dunn tossed a perfect eighth and Brian Sanches pitched a scoreless ninth for the Marlins.

Game Notes

The Marlins won six of eight meetings with the Buccos a year ago...Florida outfielder Logan Morrison extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He left the game in the fifth inning with a left foot injury...Maholm fell to 3-5 lifetime against the Marlins...Bonifacio went 3-for-4.

  • 20
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Pirates 0, Marlins 6  FinalApr 22 11:56 AM

    FLORIDA: 6

    Apr 19 9:37 PM

  • Gaby Sanchez single to right center scored Emilio Bonifacio and Chris Coghlan. Runners on first and third with two outs and Logan Morrison due up.

    Pirates 0, Marlins 6  Bot 4, 2 OutsApr 19 8:29 PM

  • Hanley Ramirez walked. John Buck scored on the play. Bases loaded with two outs and Gaby Sanchez due up.

    Pirates 0, Marlins 4  Bot 4, 2 OutsApr 19 8:25 PM

  • Emilio Bonifacio singled to center. Runners on first and third with none out and Josh Johnson due up.

    Pirates 0, Marlins 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 19 8:15 PM

  • Chris Coghlan struck out swinging to end the inning.

    Pirates 0, Marlins 2  End 2Apr 19 7:44 PM
  • 10
    RUWTbot Added 10 roots

    Pirates 0, Marlins 0  Bot 2, 1 OutApr 19 7:33 PM

    FLORIDA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Apr 19 7:10 PM