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Johnson, Marlins prevail in series opener vs. Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The Florida Marlins have become used to Josh Johnson's strong pitching. On Tuesday night they also benefitted from his offense.

Johnson pitched six strong innings and had an RBI double in the Marlins' 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

With Florida leading 2-0, Johnson doubled off the left-field scoreboard to drive in Alfredo Amezaga and key a two-run fifth inning. Earlier, Miguel Olivo's sacrifice fly scored Cody Ross, who reached on a leadoff single and advanced to third on Amezaga's one-out single.

"I guess I got lucky on that one," Johnson said of his run-producing hit. "I was just trying to make contact and I wound up getting a real good swing."

Johnson (5-4) allowed one run and seven hits. He struck out seven and walked two.

Andruw Jones, Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur hit consecutive singles to start the sixth and cut Florida's lead to 3-1. Francoeur's hit bounced off the wall in left, barely missing a home run. Ross retrieved the ball to limit Francoeur to a single.

Johnson avoided additional trouble by forcing Adam LaRoche to ground into a double play and retiring Matt Diaz on a fly out to right field.

"I just bore down and got at it," Johnson said. "My fielders did a great job behind me and got me out of a tough situation."

The Braves stranded nine runners.

"We didn't hit when were supposed to and that was the game," Jones said. "We're not pressuring. We're just not playing well and doing the things we are supposed to do."

Randy Messenger relieved Johnson and pitched a scoreless seventh. Joe Borowski got the final three outs for his ninth save in 10 chances.

Marlins' manager Joe Girardi credited Johnson for stifling the Braves' big inning hopes in the sixth.

"He gave up some 0-2 hits but I thought the key to the game was the way he battled through that sixth inning," Girardi said. "He found a way to get through it against a tough opponent."

John Smoltz (4-5) lost his third consecutive start, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out four.

"It seems to be the same thing, three runs and we don't win," Smoltz said. "We have to find a way to start winning those games and, at the same time, if need be, win 1-0."

The Braves have lost 12 of their last 15 and are 2-10 in June.

"We can't say anything and start playing good baseball and see what happens," Jones said.

The Marlins added a run in the eighth on an RBI double by Dan Uggla to make it 4-1.

"We beat another quality pitcher and that says a lot about the character of this ballclub," Girardi said.

Mike Jacobs' solo home run in the first gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead. Jacobs hit Smoltz's 2-0 pitch over the wall in right-center field for his ninth home run of the season.

"With (Miguel) Cabrera hitting behind me, I'm getting some good pitches to hit and it makes a difference," Jacobs said. "We were able to get to Smoltz early and then protect the lead."

Notes

Chipper Jones has reached safely in 48 of 51 games this season following his single in third inning. ... Johnson's hit was only his second of the season and first extra-base hit of his career. ... With the Miami Heat playing their first home game of the NBA finals on the same night, paid attendance for the Marlins opener against the Braves was 6,940. The Braves placed reliever Chris Reitsma on the 15-day disabled list. Reitsma has been feeling numbness in his pitching hand and will be examined in Atlanta on Thursday.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Florida

D. Uggla
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Florida

J. Johnson
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
 

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Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B5010010 .235
Edgar Renteria, SS4010011 .326
Chipper Jones, 3B4010022 .292
Andruw Jones, CF4110022 .270
Brian McCann, C3030100 .368
Jeff Francoeur, RF4011013 .249
Adam LaRoche, 1B2000102 .243
   a- Brian Jordan, PH-1B1000011 .215
Matt Diaz, LF2000213 .326
John Smoltz, P2000014 .111
   b- Pete Orr, PH1000000 .210
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000 .000
   c- Wilson Betemit, PH1000001 .298
Totals3318141019 
a-struck out for LaRoche in the 8th
b-grounded out for Smoltz in the 7th
c-grounded into a double play for Remlinger in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brian McCann (11, Johnson)
RBI - Jeff Francoeur (44)
SB - Marcus Giles (7, 2nd base off Johnson/Olivo)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - LaRoche-Renteria
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz (L,4-5) 6533141 3.78
Tyler Yates 1000110 4.05
Mike Remlinger 1111220 3.48
IBB - Cabrera by Mike Remlinger
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 83-56, Tyler Yates 19-9, Mike Remlinger 26-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 4-8, Tyler Yates 1-1
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 22, Tyler Yates 4, Mike Remlinger 6
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS4000032 .288
Dan Uggla, 2B3021100 .314
Mike Jacobs, 1B4111003 .260
    Joe Borowski, P0000000 .000
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3000111 .335
Cody Ross, LF4110023 .302
Jeremy Hermida, RF3000011 .250
Alfredo Amezaga, CF2110100 .288
    Wes Helms, 1B0000000 .217
Miguel Olivo, C2001001 .273
Josh Johnson, P2011000 .067
    Randy Messenger, P0000000 .000
    Logan Kensing, P0000000 .000
    Taylor Tankersley, P0000000 .000
   a- Reggie Abercrombie, PH-CF0100100 .219
Totals274644711 
a-walked for Tankersley in the 8th
Batting
2B - Dan Uggla (11, Remlinger), Josh Johnson (1, Smoltz)
HR - Mike Jacobs (9, Smoltz)
SF - Miguel Olivo (2)
RBI - Dan Uggla (37), Mike Jacobs (35), Miguel Olivo (19), Josh Johnson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Jacobs (16), Josh Johnson (1)
CS - Dan Uggla (2, 2nd base by Smoltz/McCann)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Jacobs, Helms-H. Ramirez
Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson (W,5-4) 6711270 2.05
Randy Messenger (H,4) 1100020 3.86
Logan Kensing (H,7) 0.2000100 3.38
Taylor Tankersley (H,3) 0.1000010 0.00
Joe Borowski (S,9) 1000100 3.86
IBB - Diaz by Josh Johnson
WP - Josh Johnson (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 88-55, Randy Messenger 16-13, Logan Kensing 12-5, Taylor Tankersley 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 3-7, Randy Messenger 1-0, Joe Borowski 2-0
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 26, Randy Messenger 4, Logan Kensing 3, Taylor Tankersley 1, Joe Borowski 3
Game Information
Attendance - 6940
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Larry Young, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Mike Everitt