Johnson lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.87, and the
Marlins extended their winning streak to eight with a 4-2 victory
over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
Johnson is trying to become the first rookie to lead the major
leagues in ERA since Detroit's Mark Fidrych in 1976.
"If it's there at the end of the year, I'll take pride in
that," Johnson said. "For now, I just have to keep going."
Dan Uggla hit his 20th homer and added a sacrifice fly for the
Marlins (64-66), who had not been within two games of .500 since
they were 1-3 before losing on April 9.
Florida pulled within two games of Cincinnati, the NL wild-card
leader, and is one game shy of its longest winning streak of the
season. The Marlins start a six-game trip Tuesday at St. Louis.
"Right now we're having fun, and we're just going to keep
rolling with it as long as it will go," Uggla said. "This is the
time you need to make a run at it."
Johnson (12-6) won his third straight decision, striking out
seven in a season-high 7 2-3 innings. He allowed two runs and eight
hits. Joe Borowski struck out the side in the ninth for his 31st
save in 35 chances.
Milwaukee was swept in a four-game series for the second time
this season, following a wipeout in Pittsburgh from May 29 to June
1. Ben Sheets (4-6) gave up three runs -- one earned -- and six hits
in seven innings with six strikeouts.
"We faced some good pitching, and we didn't do much with it,"
Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Josh Willingham hit a two-out double RBI double in the first,
and Florida made it 3-0 with two unearned runs in the fifth.
Cody Ross was on second when he tried to score on Alfredo
Amezaga's single, and left fielder Gabe Gross threw a one-bounce
strike to the plate. Catcher Mike Rivera failed to hold onto the
ball before Ross ran into him, and Uggla followed with a sacrifice
fly that scored Amezaga.
"It kind of caught me off guard -- the grass here is thinner and
faster than at home," Rivera said. "I thought I'd have time to
get that hop."
Ross was charged with an error.
"That play cost us two runs," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.
"He just dropped it. The throw was there in plenty of time."
Bill Hall hit his 30th homer leading off the seventh, and Tony
Graffanino's RBI single in the eighth pulled Milwaukee to 3-2 and
chased Johnson. Uggla homered off Jose Capellan leading off the
"We got some bats on the ball but we couldn't muster up a
rally," Hall said. "Johnson threw the ball great."
Florida tied a team record by winning nine straight from
June 10-20. ... Amezaga was in the starting lineup after SS Hanley
Ramirez was scratched because of a bruised finger on his right
hand. ... The Marlins have seven sweeps, but this was the first
four-gamer. ... Johnson and Minnesota's Francisco Liriano are tied
for second in wins among rookies, three behind Detroit's Justin