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Washington (0-2)0000000213111
Florida (2-0) «21500000x890

Johnson sparkles, Marlins rout Nationals again

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Only two games into the season, the Florida Marlins have already found their winning formula: strong starting pitching, a powerful offense and the Washington Nationals.

Josh Johnson pitched scoreless ball into the seventh inning and the Marlins got home runs from Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla in an 8-3 victory against the Nationals on Tuesday night, the second successive rout of their NL East foes.

"You can't really get any better than that," Johnson said of the first two games.

Two-run shots by Cantu and Uggla spoiled the return of Scott Olsen, chased early in his first regular-season game against the Marlins, who traded him in the offseason after drafting him in 2002.

"Nothing good, nothing good," Olsen said. "From the start of the game it was an uphill climb for us. Then, it just got worse."

Johnson (1-0) struck out eight and walked none, displaying the crisp pop on his fastball that could make him the ace of a promising young pitching staff. The right-hander came back from elbow surgery last July.

The only bright spots for the Nationals came on a two-run homer by Austin Kearns in the eighth and an RBI double by Cristian Guzman in the ninth that did little to take the sting out of a second successive blowout loss to start the season.

"It's the second game of the year," Washington left fielder Adam Dunn said. "I'm not conceding the season just yet. We put ourselves in an early hole on the scoreboard. That makes it tough to come back."

Olsen's return to Dolphin Stadium was short. He allowed eight runs and eight hits in three innings and never could find his command.

The Marlins traded the lefty along with outfielder Josh Willingham to the Nationals in the offseason for Emilio Bonifacio and two minor league prospects. The move was made by Florida in part to avoid the salary increase Olsen (0-1) was due; He is earning $2.8 million this year after making $405,000 last season.

Through two games, the Marlins look like winners in that deal.

Uggla homered, and Ronny Paulino and Bonifacio each had an RBI triple to highlight a five-run third that made it 8-0. During the inning, Bonifacio nearly had his second inside-the-park home run in two days.

With center fielder Lastings Milledge playing shallow again, Bonifacio hit a drive toward right-center and over Milledge's head. The ball bounced off the glove of a diving Milledge and trickled toward the wall. The speedy Bonifacio made a big turn around third but was held up by third-base coach Bo Porter.

"After I hit it, I thought I could keep going," Bonifacio said. "But it was probably better I didn't."

Bonifacio, who had four hits (including an inside-the-park homer over Milledge's head), three stolen bases and four runs scored on opening day, added an RBI single in the second inning that put Florida ahead 3-0.

It was that combination of speed and power that again got Florida's offense going.

Cameron Maybin singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Cantu homered to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead in the first.

Olsen, who still owns a home in South Florida and keeps in touch with Marlins players, had an up-and-down stint with Florida. He drew suspensions for confrontations with teammates, had run-ins with then-manager Joe Girardi and at times struggled with his command. Last year, however, he rebounded to become a team leader, earned praise from manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitched more than 200 innings with a respectable 4.20 ERA.

Still, it's the Marlins' current pitching staff that has Gonzalez smiling.

"The most important thing is that our pitching, and so far it's been pretty decent, our starting pitching," Gonzalez said. "The offense is going to go here and there, but I think we got some speed in the lineup where you got to run into a tough pitcher but you should be able to manufacture runs with our speed."

Notes

  • The temperature dipped into the low 60s, much cooler than opening day, when it reached as high as 90 degrees.
  • Willingham has not played in the first two games.
  • The Nationals and Marlins will wrap up their three-game series in a rare 12:10 p.m. start Wednesday for a game in Miami.
  • The attendance-challenged Marlins had an announced crowd of 11,124 in the second game of the season.
 
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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Scott Olsen's return to Miami has an inauspicious start -- a first-inning HR to Jorge Cantu.  (US Presswire)
Scott Olsen's return to Miami has an inauspicious start -- a first-inning HR to Jorge Cantu. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Florida

J. Johnson
IP 6.2
H 7
ER 0
BB 0
K 8
Florida

J. Cantu
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Washington Nationals
Lastings Milledge, CF4000121 .000
Cristian Guzman, SS5031003 .556
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5000013 .111
Adam Dunn, LF4010001 .375
Nick Johnson, 1B4130010 .500
Austin Kearns, RF4112011 .250
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4010013 .143
Jesus Flores, C4120023 .500
Scott Olsen, P1000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P1000000 .000
   a- Josh Bard, PH1000012 .000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
   b- Elijah Dukes, PH1000011 .000
Totals383113110  
a-struck out for Tavarez in the 7th
b-struck out for Hanrahan in the 9th
Batting
2B - Cristian Guzman (1, Pinto), Jesus Flores (1, Pinto)
HR - Austin Kearns (1, Nunez)
RBI - Cristian Guzman (1), Austin Kearns 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Cristian Guzman (1), Austin Kearns 2 (3)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Guzman-Belliard-N. Johnson
E - Ryan Zimmerman (2, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Scott Olsen (L,0-1) 3888322 24.00
Julian Tavarez 3000040 4.50
Joe Beimel 1100100 0.00
Joel Hanrahan 1000120 0.00
WP - Scott Olsen (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Olsen 69-41, Julian Tavarez 32-22, Joe Beimel 12-6, Joel Hanrahan 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Olsen 5-2, Julian Tavarez 5-0, Joe Beimel 2-1, Joel Hanrahan 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Olsen 20, Julian Tavarez 9, Joe Beimel 5, Joel Hanrahan 4
Florida Marlins
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B5022011 .600
Cameron Maybin, CF5110014 .222
Hanley Ramirez, SS3000111 .333
Jorge Cantu, 1B3222101 .571
Dan Uggla, 2B4112021 .125
Jeremy Hermida, LF3000112 .143
    Brett Carroll, LF0000000 .500
Cody Ross, RF4100013 .000
Ronny Paulino, C3221100 .667
Josh Johnson, P2111110 .500
    Leo Nunez, P0000000 .000
   a- Ross Gload, PH1000000 .000
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
Totals3389858  
a-grounded out for Nunez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ronny Paulino (1, Olsen)
3B - Emilio Bonifacio (1, Olsen), Ronny Paulino (1, Olsen)
HR - Jorge Cantu (2, Olsen), Dan Uggla (1, Olsen)
RBI - Emilio Bonifacio 2 (4), Jorge Cantu 2 (5), Dan Uggla 2 (2), Ronny Paulino (1), Josh Johnson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Emilio Bonifacio 2 (2), Jorge Cantu 2 (2), Ronny Paulino (1), Josh Johnson (1)
SB - Cameron Maybin (1, 2nd base off Olsen/Flores)
Team LOB - 6
Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson (W,1-0) 6.2700080 0.00
Leo Nunez 1.1222101 13.50
Renyel Pinto 1211020 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 106-75, Leo Nunez 34-21, Renyel Pinto 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 7-5, Leo Nunez 2-2
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 27, Leo Nunez 7, Renyel Pinto 5
Game Information
Attendance - 11124
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Gerry Davis