Johnson outduels Halladay, 2-0
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Josh Johnson was dominant in eight shutout innings, winning a duel with Roy Halladay in Florida’s 2-0 triumph over Philadelphia.
Johnson (7-2), who was on the opposite end of Halladay’s perfect game on May 29, showed off his arsenal and was the winner this time around, giving up a mere three hits and one walk while retiring the final 17 hitters he faced.
The 26-year-old right-hander struck out five and has surrendered just two earned runs over his last six starts, a span of 42 innings. His earned-run average now sits at 1.91 on the season.
“I just finally found my rhythm, found my tempo in about the fourth or fifth (inning),” Johnson said. “I was just pounding the zone, I was trying to throw as many strikes as I possibly could, throw my change-up in any count, slider in any count, just located my fastballs down the zone.”
Jorge Cantu drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, and Dan Uggla added a solo homer for the Marlins, who snapped a four-game slide.
Halladay (8-4), in his 300th career start, tossed eight innings of one-run ball, allowing six hits while walking one and striking out eight to take the tough loss for the Phillies, who were shut out for the seventh time this season and took their third defeat in four games.
“I was a little erratic early on,” Halladay said. “One or two pitches I thought were okay pitches that they hit. Other than that, I made some mistakes.”
Placido Polanco’s one-out double in the ninth got the tying run to the plate for the heart of the lineup, but Leo Nunez got Chase Utley to ground out and Ryan Howard to strike out to notch his 13th save of the season.
It was a rain-shortened two-game set that the National League East foes split. Wednesday’s washout was rescheduled as part of a day/night doubleheader on September 6.
Chris Coghlan quickly ended the slim chance of a duplicate performance from Halladay by taking a payoff pitch back up the middle for a single to start the game. Gaby Sanchez followed with a base hit to center, and Hanley Ramirez walked to load the bases.
Halladay limited the damage to Cantu’s sacrifice fly, as he struck out Uggla and got Cody Ross to ground out to short.
The Phillies’ best chance to score came in the bottom half when Jayson Werth swung through a 2-2 slider to strand runners on second and third.
The Marlins left a runner in scoring position from the second through the fourth innings, but Johnson was on top of his game, setting the Phils down in order following Shane Victorino’s one-out double in the third.
The Phillies went to Danys Baez in the ninth, and Uggla won a 12-pitch battle by taking a fastball the other way for his 14th home run of the season.
Johnson, who improved to 4-0 in six games — five starts — in Philadelphia, allowed just one unearned run over seven innings to take the loss in Halladay’s perfect game…Halladay, whose ERA is 1.96, had beaten Florida twice previously this season…Before the game, the Phillies agreed to terms with pitcher Jesse Biddle, their first-round pick of the 2010 draft (27th overall)…The Phillies were shut out seven times all of last season…Werth is mired in a 3-for-41 slump…The Phillies have scored a total of five runs in Halladay’s four losses this season.