Florida at St. Louis

Scoreboard
Florida (78-68) «3100000105120
St. Louis (85-62)0000010012101

Johnson, Ross power Marlins past Cards on road

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- Josh Johnson showed why he's one of the top starters in the majors on Wednesday.

Even without his best stuff, the right-hander was good enough to shut down the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cody Ross had three hits and drove in two runs for Florida, which has won 10 of 14 to stay in the playoff race. Ross extended his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest current streak in the NL, and was 5 for 12 in the series.

  Playoff Race

Florida (78-68) moved within four games of wild card-leading Colorado, which was at San Francisco on Wednesday night.

"This is a resilient team," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They forget bad losses quickly and go on to the next game."

Johnson (15-4) gave up nine hits but allowed just one run in his 23rd quality start of the season. He struck out five and walked none, improving to 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA in his last five starts.

"They made good contact with the ball," Johnson said. "I'd throw good pitches and they'd get hits. It was one of those days where I didn't walk anybody. That was huge for me today."

The Cardinals rallied in the ninth. Jason LaRue walked with one out and Mark DeRosa followed with a double to left. Gonzalez then replaced Brian Sanches with closer Leo Nunez, whose wildness got the Marlins into more trouble.

Nunez hit Ryan Ludwick and Albert Pujols to force in a run before coaxing Matt Holliday into a game-ending double play for his 22nd save in 28 opportunities.

"I really focused on throwing the fastball low and away," said Nunez, who had hit only two batters in his previous 68 innings. "I just wanted to get the ground ball and I got it."

Central-leading St. Louis fell to 1-5 on its nine-game homestand and lost back-to-back series for the first time since June 22-28 against the New York Mets and Minnesota.

Joel Pineiro (14-11) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings for St. Louis.

Eight of Florida's first 10 batters reached safely. John Baker and Ross had RBI singles and Dan Uggla also drove in a run in the first with a fielder's choice.

Johnson helped himself in the second, leading off with an infield single before eventually coming home on Jorge Cantu's sacrifice fly.

Julio Lugo had an RBI single in the sixth for St. Louis, which has scored two or fewer runs in four of its last five losses.

"I'm not worried at all about our offense," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "Good pitching stops good hitting. I really like this club we have."

Notes

  • Florida rookie Chris Coghlan singled in the second inning, giving him an NL-best 83 hits since the All-Star break.
  • The first 17 hits in the game were singles.
  • The teams split the six-game season series.
  • St. Louis closer Ryan Franklin, who blew his last two save opportunities, pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
  • The Cardinals were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
The Marlins wait in the dugout to greet the player who scores in the eighth ... and his name is Dan Uggla. (AP)
The Marlins wait in the dugout to greet the player who scores in the eighth ... and his name is Dan Uggla. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

Y. Molina
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Florida

C. Ross
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

December 22, 2014
Rams at Seahawks Preview (3:23)
December 1, 2014
Boomer & Carton: Football coming to LA?
(2:58)
December 23, 2014
Jim Rome: Dez Bryant's contract
(3:09)
December 23, 2014
Hammerin' Hank's picks: Week 17
(6:54)

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Chicago Cubs Nike Royal Blue Classic Pullover Hoodie

MLB Cold Weather Gear
Get your favorite team
Shop Now

Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF5010003 .303
Nick Johnson, 1B3110100 .302
    Brett Hayes, PR0000000 .250
    Brian Sanches, P0000000 .000
    Leo Nunez, P0000000 .000
Hanley Ramirez, SS4110101 .357
Jorge Cantu, 3B-1B4011011 .280
Dan Uggla, 2B4221002 .246
John Baker, C4021002 .271
Cody Ross, RF4032001 .277
Cameron Maybin, CF4000025 .220
Josh Johnson, P2110000 .190
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Kiko Calero, P0000000 .000
   a- Ross Gload, PH0000100 .266
    Emilio Bonifacio, PR0000000 .251
    Dan Meyer, P0000000 .000
    Wes Helms, 3B0000000 .279
Totals34512533  
a-walked for Calero in the 8th
Batting
2B - Dan Uggla (23, Thompson)
SF - Jorge Cantu (3)
SH - Nick Johnson (1), Josh Johnson (9)
RBI - Jorge Cantu (87), Dan Uggla (79), John Baker (48), Cody Ross 2 (87)
2-OUT RBI - John Baker (15), Cody Ross (40)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Cantu
Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson (W,15-4) 6911050 3.01
Renyel Pinto (H,13) 0.1000100 3.21
Kiko Calero (H,12) 0.2000010 1.96
Dan Meyer 1000000 3.04
Brian Sanches 0.1111100 1.90
Leo Nunez (S,22) 0.2000000 4.00
HBP - Ludwick (by Leo Nunez), Pujols (by Leo Nunez)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 99-66, Renyel Pinto 11-5, Kiko Calero 8-4, Dan Meyer 16-11, Brian Sanches 18-10, Leo Nunez 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 5-8, Renyel Pinto 1-0, Kiko Calero 1-0, Dan Meyer 1-2, Brian Sanches 1-0, Leo Nunez 1-0
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 27, Renyel Pinto 2, Kiko Calero 2, Dan Meyer 3, Brian Sanches 3, Leo Nunez 3
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B3020000 .302
   a- Mark DeRosa, PH-3B2010000 .255
Rick Ankiel, RF3000021 .233
   b- Ryan Ludwick, PH-RF0000100 .272
Albert Pujols, 1B4021001 .333
Matt Holliday, LF5010025 .311
Colby Rasmus, CF4000004 .257
Yadier Molina, C4120000 .285
Joe Thurston, 3B-2B4010011 .229
Julio Lugo, SS4011002 .290
Joel Pineiro, P2000002 .133
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
   c- Khalil Greene, PH1000011 .207
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .083
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   d- Jason LaRue, PH0000100 .226
    Brendan Ryan, PR0100000 .289
Totals36210226  
a-grounded out for Schumaker in the 7th
b-walked for Ankiel in the 7th
c-struck out for Reyes in the 6th
d-walked for Franklin in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mark DeRosa (21, Sanches), Yadier Molina (22, Johnson)
RBI - Albert Pujols (127), Julio Lugo (18)
2-OUT RBI - Julio Lugo (6)
SB - Joe Thurston (4, 2nd base off Johnson/Baker)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Rick Ankiel 1
DP - Lugo-Schumaker-Pujols, Lugo-Pujols
E - Brad Thompson (1, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (L,14-11) 5.11044120 3.31
Dennys Reyes 0.2000000 3.13
Brad Thompson 2211110 5.00
Ryan Franklin 1000100 1.93
IBB - H. Ramirez by Joel Pineiro
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 89-59, Dennys Reyes 7-4, Brad Thompson 24-15, Ryan Franklin 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 11-2, Dennys Reyes 2-0, Brad Thompson 4-1, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 26, Dennys Reyes 2, Brad Thompson 9, Ryan Franklin 3
Game Information
Attendance - 43020
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Chris Guccione