Marlins 6, Rockies 3

Both starting pitchers delivered. The matchup of Ubaldo Jimenez
against Josh Johnson lived up to its billing.

The Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins remained hitless
through the first 156 pitches. Finally, Jimenez cracked.

The only hit he allowed was a bases-loaded triple by Omar
Infante, which helped the Marlins win 6-3 Sunday.

Still, Jimenez was encouraged by his second start since a cut
cuticle on his right thumb sent him to the disabled list. He went
five innings, battling Marlins ace Josh Johnson on even terms, and
the only hit he allowed was by Infante.

”I felt like my old self out there that first four innings,”
said Jimenez, the All-Star game starter in 2010. ”I was throwing
my breaking balls for strikes, and I had my velocity.”

Jimenez walked the bases loaded with nobody out in the fifth,
then retired the next two batters before Infante came through.

”The last inning I ran a little bit out of gas,” the
right-hander said. ”My velocity got a little bad.”

Colorado leads the majors in comeback wins, and they nearly
pulled off another one, scoring twice in the top of the eighth to
tie the game.

But Infante singled in the bottom half against Matt Belisle
(2-1). Following a two-out walk, Mike Stanton pulled a hanging 1-0
slider into the left-field seats.

”We threw a very bad pitch to Mike Stanton,” Rockies manager
Jim Tracy said. ”It was a breaking ball that didn’t do anything.
He’s going to hit those balls out of the ballpark, it’s that
simple.”

Stanton’s second homer this year earned him a curtain call from
the crowd of 11,442. Slowed earlier by injuries to both hamstrings,
the young slugger has hiked his average to .265.

”Being able to finally play every day and not have these
mishaps here and there is good for me, and I’m getting a little
more comfortable,” he said.

The game matched two pitchers who finished in the top five in NL
Cy Young Award voting last year. Jimenez and Johnson both brought
their good stuff, and the game remained hitless until the
fifth.

”I looked up there, and it was a lot of zeros,” Johnson said.
”I was like, `This is what everybody wanted.”’

The game wasn’t exactly what Florida All-Star shortstop Hanley
Ramirez had in mind. A hitless afternoon left him 2 for his past
27, and manager Edwin Rodriguez said he may give the 2009 NL
batting champion a day off Monday.

”I’m trying too hard, chasing bad pitches, and you see the
pitches go 100 mph,” Ramirez said. ”I’ve just got to calm down
and get back on track.”

His attitude has drawn criticism in the past, and last year he
was briefly benched for a lack of hustle. But new Marlins catcher
John Buck praised the way Ramirez has dealt with his slump.

”All I heard about was as far as him not being a leader when
stuff goes bad,” Buck said. ”But I think the best thing that
could happen is him starting out bad and being the team player he
has been. He’s struggling probably the worst on the team, but when
I’m making an out, he’s the first one patting me on the back.

”Whatever he has been in the past is far from what I’ve
experienced here. And if he gets going, it’s going to be something
fun.”

The Rockies are sputtering at the plate, too, despite leading
the NL West. They had six hits against four Florida pitchers and
totaled only 13 in the three-game series.

They did muster a rally from a 3-1 deficit in the eighth it
against Clay Hensley. Carlos Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly and Troy
Tulowitzki followed with a two-out RBI double.

Stanton snapped the tie.

”He’s the type of player where, if you make one mistake, he can
hurt you,” Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi said. ”We battled
back, but unfortunately one swing of the bat turned the game
around.”

NOTES: Rockies C Chris Iannetta (stiff back) was held out for
the second day in a row but may return to the starting lineup
Monday. … Colorado fell to 7-2 in day games. … Johnson has
allowed only nine hits in his past three starts, and opponents are
batting .116 against him. For right-handed hitters the average is
.071. … Tulowitzki boosted his lifetime average in Miami to .174
(8 for 46).