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Florida (62-56) «0201320008110
N.Y. Mets (62-55)001001000260

Marlins avoid sweep by battering Pelfrey, Mets

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- At 6-foot-7, Josh Johnson glares down at home plate, an imposing figure with an intimidating repertoire of pitches.

"You barely know he's in the clubhouse," teammate Luis Gonzalez said, "but when he takes the mound he has presence."

And how.

The big right-hander stifled the New York Mets for a season-high seven innings Sunday, leading the Florida Marlins to an 8-2 victory and helping them avoid a three-game sweep by their NL East rivals.

A month into his return from reconstructive elbow surgery, 30 pounds lighter and with a refined changeup to complement a dastardly slider and zippy fastball, Johnson has given Florida the kind of pitcher other teams paid dearly for in midseason trades.

"It's like almost getting a big trade," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "To get him, for me, was like Milwaukee getting (CC) Sabathia."

The stats back Fredi Gonzalez up. The Marlins improved to 6-0 in Johnson's starts this season, including three victories against the rival Phillies and Mets. Sabathia is 6-0 for the Brewers.

Dan Uggla had two doubles and three RBI, Luis Gonzalez and Mike Jacobs each homered and Florida finished a 3-3 road trip with a breakout offensive effort that quashed the Mets' hope of making a statement in the division.

Still, the Mets returned to Shea Stadium after a 1-5 trip and began a stretch where they will play 23 consecutive days by taking two of three from Florida and jumping into second place in the East, a half-game ahead of the Marlins. They entered Sunday one back of the Phillies.

Johnson (3-0), who had Tommy John surgery in August 2007 after going 12-7 in his rookie campaign of '06, gave up two runs and five hits to follow up six shutout innings in Philadelphia on Tuesday. He lowered his ERA from 4.18 to 3.19 with his last two starts.

"I felt real good today," Johnson said. "I absolutely attacked the zone."

Endy Chavez's leadoff triple in the third was the one hard-hit ball off Johnson. Chavez scored on Jose Reyes' groundout.

Johnson struck out five in beating the Mets and Mike Pelfrey for the second time -- July 30 was the first.

"Tremendous pitcher," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "He's one of those guys you don't want to see because he's got a tremendous angle on his fastball and a good assortment of pitches. I was kind of hoping we'd get a little rain, take him out, play big, but it didn't work out that way."

The Mets had won nine of Pelfrey's previous 10 starts, but he gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings in this one. The Marlins have scored at least five runs in each of his three starts against them this season.

After a swift first, Jacobs and Uggla hit back-to-back doubles leading off the second inning. Jeremy Hermida added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.

The Marlins added a run in the fourth on three straight two-out singles by Cody Ross, Hermida and Matt Treanor, who had the run-scoring hit.

Pelfrey (10-8) lost control in the fifth, walking two ahead of Uggla's two-run double and then hitting Ross in the back with a pitch. He walked Hermida, then kept his back turned to his manager and stared out to center field the entire wait for Eddie Kunz to arrive from the bullpen.

"I think I made some bad pitches," Pelfrey said. "I made some stupid pitches, and when I did they made me pay for them. Uggla came up and swung at the first pitch. It was supposed to be down and away and it was up."

Kunz, making his third big league appearance, threw a wild pitch to score a run and make it 6-1.

Gonzalez hit his sixth home run and Jacobs added his 25th off Carlos Muniz in the sixth, and David Wright hit an RBI single in the bottom half for New York. Johnson eliminated any chance for a Mets rally by getting Carlos Delgado to ground into a double play.

"He's been the stopper for us ever since he's been back," Luis Gonzalez said of Johnson. "He hasn't disappointed us."

Notes

  • New York will play Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon, a makeup of a game that was rained out on April 28.
  • Mets closer Billy Wagner is on track throw a couple of innings at Class A Brooklyn next weekend as he rehabs from a strained left forearm. He's scheduled to return from the DL on Aug. 18.
  • Marlins LHP Andrew Miller (patella tendinitis in right knee) pitched 3 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Class A Jupiter on Saturday. He gave up five hits and a run. He is scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches for Jupiter on Thursday.
  • Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez is confident that LHP Scott Olsen will make his next start. Olsen rolled his ankle covering first in the fifth inning Saturday night.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Mike Pelfrey can't figure out the Marlins this season, struggling against them for the third time.  (AP)
Mike Pelfrey can't figure out the Marlins this season, struggling against them for the third time. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

D. Uggla
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
New York

J. Reyes
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5000010 .291
Luis Gonzalez, LF4231100 .270
    Joe Nelson, P0000000 .000
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
    Wes Helms, 3B0000000 .253
Jorge Cantu, 3B-1B5000012 .281
Mike Jacobs, 1B4321110 .251
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B5223000 .266
Cody Ross, CF-LF4110011 .252
Jeremy Hermida, RF2021100 .263
Matt Treanor, C3011111 .241
Josh Johnson, P4000036 .200
    Alfredo Amezaga, CF0000000 .262
Totals36811748  
Batting
2B - Mike Jacobs (20, Pelfrey), Dan Uggla 2 (30, Pelfrey, Pelfrey)
HR - Luis Gonzalez (7, Muniz), Mike Jacobs (25, Muniz)
SF - Jeremy Hermida (1)
RBI - Luis Gonzalez (37), Mike Jacobs (67), Dan Uggla 3 (70), Jeremy Hermida (54), Matt Treanor (20)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Jacobs (37), Dan Uggla 2 (26), Matt Treanor (10)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Cantu-H. Ramirez-Jacobs
Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson (W,3-0) 7522250 3.19
Joe Nelson 0.2100010 1.60
Arthur Rhodes 0.1000000 2.63
Kevin Gregg 1000000 2.33
WP - Josh Johnson (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 104-58, Joe Nelson 14-8, Arthur Rhodes 3-2, Kevin Gregg 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 6-9, Joe Nelson 1-0
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 27, Joe Nelson 3, Arthur Rhodes 1, Kevin Gregg 3
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4121010 .302
Argenis Reyes, 2B4000002 .232
David Wright, 3B4011021 .291
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000022 .261
Carlos Beltran, CF3000100 .272
Daniel Murphy, LF3010101 .478
Brian Schneider, C4010011 .257
Endy Chavez, RF3110002 .270
Mike Pelfrey, P1000001 .100
    Eddie Kunz, P0000000 .000
   a- Nick Evans, PH1000000 .259
    Carlos Muniz, P0000000 .000
   b- Damion Easley, PH1000002 .267
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
Totals3226226  
a-flied out for Kunz in the 5th
b-lined out for Muniz in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (30, Nelson), Daniel Murphy (2, Johnson)
3B - Endy Chavez (2, Johnson)
RBI - Jose Reyes (50), David Wright (90)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Wright-A. Reyes-Delgado
New York Mets
Mike Pelfrey (L,10-8) 4.2766330 4.11
Eddie Kunz 0.1000110 3.86
Carlos Muniz 2322022 5.40
Joe Smith 1100000 4.02
Scott Schoeneweis 1000020 3.13
HBP - Ross (by Mike Pelfrey)
WP - Eddie Kunz (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 98-57, Eddie Kunz 10-4, Carlos Muniz 34-20, Joe Smith 13-9, Scott Schoeneweis 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 7-4, Carlos Muniz 1-3, Joe Smith 2-0, Scott Schoeneweis 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 25, Eddie Kunz 2, Carlos Muniz 9, Joe Smith 3, Scott Schoeneweis 3
Game Information
Attendance - 54242
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Field Culbreth