Colorado at Florida

W: L. Nunez (4-2) L: J. Chacin (5-8)
HR: COL - I. Stewart (13)   FLA - C. Ross (8)

Paulino's single lifts Marlins in ninth; Johnson fans 11 wire reports

MIAMI -- When pitcher Jose Veras snared a line drive to keep the Florida Marlins in the lead, he looked to the heavens, raised the ball and then lifted his cap skyward as well.

The Marlins can be thankful the breaks are falling their way lately. They took advantage of some good fortune and ace Josh Johnson's latest gem to beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 Thursday afternoon.

Florida won the game in the ninth inning when pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio tripled and scored on Ronny Paulino's walk-off single. But the pivotal moment came in the seventh.

After Johnson departed leading 2-1, the Rockies loaded the bases with two out. Seth Smith then hit a liner, and Veras reached up to catch the ball in the web of his glove.

"As soon as I feel it, I said, 'Wow, I've got it. Thank you God for that,'" Veras said. "I just want to get the job done in that situation for J.J."

Johnson watched Veras' pivotal play from the dugout.

"I didn't even see that he caught it," Johnson said. "Then he's holding the ball in his glove and looking at it. I said, 'Attaboy.'"

The Rockies likely used more colorful language.

"The way that Veras finishes on his delivery, he kind of fell a little bit in that direction and actually fell right into the line drive," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.

Despite a sputtering offense, the Marlins have won five of their past six games, including four victories by one run. Now one game below .500 heading into a weekend series against NL East leader Atlanta, the Marlins consider themselves playoff contenders.

"Absolutely," Johnson said. "We've thought that since Day 1. There's a little sense of urgency. But when you have a guy like Bonifacio stepping up and being that spark plug that we need, it's huge."

With the score 2-all, Bonifacio hit his first triple of the year to start the ninth against Jhoulys Chacin (5-8), who then gave up two intentional walks to load the bases. On the next pitch, Paulino singled through the drawn-in infield.

That triggered one final roar from the "camp day" crowd of 29,102, the Marlins' largest at home since May 1.

"This team is showing some character," said Edwin Rodriguez, who became manager June 23. "I like what I see."

Especially from Johnson, who struck out 11 in 6 1/3 innings and allowed only one run -- on a homer by Ian Stewart in the second inning. Johnson lowered his ERA to 1.61, best in the majors.

On a sunny, 89-degree day, Johnson threw 120 pitches. He has not allowed more than two runs in his past 13 starts, and has gone at least six innings in 18 consecutive starts.

"The way he pitched, you want to win no matter what," Bonifacio said.

Leo Nunez (4-2) struck out the side in the ninth.

The injury-plagued Rockies fell to 2-5 since the All-Star break.

"We've put ourselves in opportunities to win, but we're just not finishing the game," first baseman Jason Giambi said.

Along with the near-miss in the seventh, the Rockies squandered a chance to take the lead in the eighth. They tied the game when Jonathan Herrera led off with a double against Clay Hensley and scored on Giambi's single.

Hensley hit the next batter but kept the score tied with the help of a double-play grounder by Stewart.

"We got snakebit a little bit in the seventh, and we missed a great opportunity in the eighth," Tracy said. "That's simply what the game boils down to."

One bright spot for Colorado was Jorge De La Rosa's best start this season. The left-hander, making his third start since returning from a finger injury, allowed only three hits and two runs in six innings.

Stewart hit his 13th homer -- only the fifth allowed by Johnson this season -- and that was the Rockies' lone hit until the fifth.

Gaby Sanchez doubled home a run for Florida in the first, and Cody Ross hit his eighth homer in the second.


  • Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez was held out of the starting lineup for only the fourth time this season. He's 4 for 23 since the All-Star break. Sanchez took his spot in the order, batting third for the first time this season.
  • Rockies CF Carlos Gonzalez is day to day with a bruised left index finger that forced him out of Wednesday's game.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (left wrist) is also day to day.
  • Also out of the starting lineup was RF Hawpe, who is in a 2-for-17 slump.
  • Colorado RHP Aaron Cook, scheduled to start Friday at Philadelphia, is 1-5 against the Phillies with a 5.70 ERA.
  • Florida improved to 9-2 in home day games.
Copyright 2017 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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Ronny Paulino (29) is the hero as the Marlins win in dramatic fashion for the second time in the series. (AP)
Ronny Paulino (29) is the hero as the Marlins win in dramatic fashion for the second time in the series. (AP)

Players of the Game

I. Stewart
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

C. Ross
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

February 17, 2017
NL West Preview: Colorado Rockies (2:26)
Colorado Rockies
Seth Smith, RF-LF4000003 .281
Jonathan Herrera, 2B4110020 .309
Jason Giambi, 1B4021010 .280
    Carlos Gonzalez, PR0000000 .305
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
    Dexter Fowler, CF0000000 .222
Melvin Mora, LF-1B3000001 .253
Ian Stewart, 3B4111021 .255
Ryan Spilborghs, CF-RF3020101 .263
Miguel Olivo, C4010032 .311
Clint Barmes, SS4000043 .255
Jorge De La Rosa, P2000021 .167
   a- Brad Hawpe, PH0000100 .262
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .333
    Brad Eldred, 1B1000010 .261
    Jhoulys Chacin, P0000000 .087
a-walked for De La Rosa in the 7th
2B - Jonathan Herrera (3, Hensley), Ryan Spilborghs (7, Johnson)
HR - Ian Stewart (13, Johnson)
RBI - Jason Giambi (23), Ian Stewart (47)
SB - Jason Giambi (2, 2nd base off Johnson/Paulino), Miguel Olivo (5, 2nd base off Veras/Paulino)
Team LOB - 7
Colorado Rockies
Jorge De La Rosa 6322381 5.65
Matt Belisle 1000020 2.67
Joe Beimel0100000 2.20
Rafael Betancourt 1000020 4.67
Jhoulys Chacin (L,5-8)0211200 4.13
IBB - Ross by Jhoulys Chacin, by Stanton
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge De La Rosa 97-55, Matt Belisle 13-9, Joe Beimel 2-2, Rafael Betancourt 11-9, Jhoulys Chacin 15-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge De La Rosa 8-2
Batters Faced - Jorge De La Rosa 24, Matt Belisle 3, Joe Beimel 1, Rafael Betancourt 3, Jhoulys Chacin 4
Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF3110100 .265
Donnie Murphy, SS3000132 .250
Gaby Sanchez, 1B4021010 .303
Dan Uggla, 2B4000034 .271
Jorge Cantu, 3B3000023 .263
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
    Clay Hensley, P0000000 .000
    Leo Nunez, P0000000 .000
   a- Emilio Bonifacio, PH1110000 .278
Cody Ross, CF3111100 .275
Mike Stanton, RF2000200 .227
Ronny Paulino, C4011021 .276
Josh Johnson, P2000001 .119
    Wes Helms, 3B1000010 .242
a-tripled for Nunez in the 9th
2B - Gaby Sanchez (23, De La Rosa)
3B - Emilio Bonifacio (1, Chacin)
HR - Cody Ross (8, De La Rosa)
RBI - Gaby Sanchez (43), Cody Ross (47), Ronny Paulino (33)
SB - Chris Coghlan (10, 2nd base off Betancourt/Olivo), Gaby Sanchez (4, 3rd base off De La Rosa/Olivo)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Uggla-Murphy-G. Sanchez
Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson 6.15111111 1.61
Jose Veras (H,7) 0.2000110 4.15
Clay Hensley (BS,1) 1211000 3.05
Leo Nunez (W,4-2) 1000030 2.66
HBP - Mora (by Clay Hensley)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 120-84, Jose Veras 13-5, Clay Hensley 18-11, Leo Nunez 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 3-5, Clay Hensley 2-0
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 25, Jose Veras 3, Clay Hensley 5, Leo Nunez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29102
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Jim Reynolds