Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Jair Jurrjens and two relievers combined on a four-hitter as Atlanta stifled Florida, 2-0, in the middle meeting of a three-game set at Sun Life Stadium.
Jurrjens (7-4) allowed three hits, while he walked three and fanned seven to earn his first win on the road this season. Jonny Venters retired the side in order in the eighth and Billy Wagner worked the ninth to record his 32nd save for the Braves, who maintained their one-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East after the Phillies edged Milwaukee.
“They had Josh Johnson going tonight, one of the best in baseball and he showed why he is, but JJ matched about everything he did,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox of his starter. “He was really on target and when you’re going up against someone like that you need to pitch like an ace, and he did.”
Former Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez drove in both runs against his former team, while Omar Infante and Martin Prado each contributed two hits for Atlanta, which has won six out of eight.
Josh Johnson (11-6) was the hard-luck loser after allowing two runs on eight hits while walking three and matching a career-high with 12 strikeouts in six innings for the Marlins, who had a three-game win streak halted.
The Braves put two runners on in the first before Johnson struck out Brian McCann and Derrek Lee to end the threat but the visitors did cash in during the second inning.
Melky Cabrera singled to open the frame and scored when Gonzalez followed with a double off the left-field wall. Gonzalez moved to third on the throw home but was eventually tagged out on a failed squeeze try by Jurrjens.
McCann opened the sixth with a double, stayed put after the next two hitters were retired and then chugged home when Gonzalez singled into center to make it a 2-0 game.
Hanley Ramirez singled with one out in the ninth before Wagner struck out Dan Uggla and got Gaby Sanchez to pop out to end the game.
“Not really, I mean, I knew JJ was going to hold them but we had a couple opportunities and didn’t capitalize on them,” admitted Marlins infielder Dan Uggla when asked if he anticipated Florida’s shortage of offense. “It just wasn’t our night.”
Johnson also struck out 12 on April 26 this season against San Diego…He is 0-1 in three starts against Atlanta this season despite allowing only three earned runs in 18 innings…Johnson is 4-3 in 15 games, 14 starts, in his career versus the Braves…Ramirez finished 2-for-3 and has 20 hits in his current 11-game hitting streak…The Marlins selected the contracts of catcher Mike Rivera and pitcher Adalberto Mendez from Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday while placing infielder Donnie Murphy and pitcher Ricky Nolasco on the 60-day disabled list…Atlanta is 61-4 when leading after seven innings and 50-21 when scoring first…Prado has hit safely in six straight and has 25 hits in 16 games since coming off the disabled list August 17…Jason Heyward of the Braves went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in nine of his last 10…The Braves lead the season series, 8-6…Injured Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones was tossed from the game in the first inning from the dugout after comments relating to balls and strikes.
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