The Marlins got their homestand off to a great start Tuesday night with Josh Johnson on the hill against Paul Maholm and the Pirates. JJ once again carried a no-hit bid into the top of the fifth, and put on quite a show both on the mound and at the plate. (Not that we saw it, since the game was blacked out. And don't yell at me for not going; if Tommy Hutton doesn't go, then neither do I.)
Josh tossed seven shutout innings, and allowed just two hits to the Pirates, while striking out nine. The chance at a no-no ended in the top of the fifth when Garrett Jones singled to right, one of the two hits (both singles) that Josh gave up in the game.
As if a dominating performance on the mound wasn't enough, JJ provided the game's winning run as well, slapping a two-run single to right in the second.
The Marlins sent 7 to the plate in the inning. With one out, Logan Morrison was hit by a pitch. Mike Stanton grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out, and John Buck hit an infield single to put two on for Emilio Bonifacio. Boni singled to load up the bases for JJ, whose RBI hit put the Fish up 2-0.
The Marlins didn't need any more runs to win the game, but they added four more runs in the fourth, just for the heck of it, and chased Maholm in the process.
Mike Stanton and John Buck hit back-to-back doubles to make it 3-0, and Bonifacio, who was 3-for-4 on the night, singled to put runners at the corners. After JJ's sac bunt advanced Boni to second, Chris Coghlan walked to load up the bases. Maholm walked Hanley to make it 4-0 before the call to the bullpen brought Michael Crotta to the mound. Crotta gave up a single to Gaby Sanchez that scored two more runs, and the Marlins had a 6-0 lead after four.
In the top of the fifth, Scott Cousins replaced Logan Morrison, who left the game due to a strained arch. LoMo had already extended his hitting streak to ten games, with a single in the third.
Crotta pitched a scoreless fifth, Daniel McCutchen held the Marlins hitless through the sixth and seventh, and Joe Beimel threw a scoreless eighth. Unfortunately for the Pirates, Florida's bullpen did pretty much the same. Ryan Webb and Brian Sanches preserved the shutout with a scoreless inning apiece, and the Fish took game one of the series.
With the win, Josh Johnson improves to 3-0, with an itsy bitsy ERA of 1.00, and the Marlins improve to 9-6 on the season.
JJ is a beast.