Marlins 5, Rays 1
Josh Johnson had to work out of a few jams Sunday in pitching
five scoreless innings for the Miami Marlins in a 5-1 victory over
the Tampa Bay Rays.
”A little bit of everything,” Johnson said of his fifth start.
”Some good, some bad, some ugly, but I got my pitch count up and
got my adrenaline going that last inning, so it was good.”
Miami’s opening-day starter, Johnson allowed three hits, struck
out four and walked five. He threw 45 of 79 pitches for
He walked Evan Longoria in the first, threw a wild pitch and
walked Carlos Pena, prompting catcher John Buck to head to the
”I knew he was a little out of whack,” Buck said. ”Every time
he was delivering the ball it looked a little different. I could
see a bunch of his chest, the spin of the ball would change.”
The next two innings were far smoother for Johnson, who hit an
RBI double to deep left-center in the second.
”Everything was on time. My tempo was a lot better. I was going
after guys, throwing quality pitches. That’s what I’ve been looking
for all spring, those two innings right there,” Johnson said.
Johnson encountered trouble in the fourth, giving up a leadoff
single to Longoria and loading the bases with walks to Pena and
Luke Scott. He induced Jose Molina to ground into an inning-ending,
6-4-3 double play.
Johnson escaped another jam in the fifth, with runners on second
and third and no out. He struck out Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce,
then retired Longoria on a flyout.
”You have to do whatever you can to get guys out,” Johnson
said. ”That’s one of those times you go for the strikeout.”
Marlins head athletic trainer Sean Cunningham and pitching coach
Randy St. Claire went out to check on Johnson in the fifth, but he
shook them off. They were concerned about a fingernail, which digs
into his skin when he throws his slider. Johnson said it’s just
something he deals with and has played through for a while.
”That’s normal for him from what I hear,” Marlins manager
Ozzie Guillen said. ”JJ threw the ball very well. I’m very happy
where he is at right now.”
Rays starter Wade Davis struggled in what could be his final bid
to make Tampa Bay’s rotation. Davis gave up four runs, seven hits
and three walks in 4 2-3 innings with two strikeouts. He threw 52
of 91 pitches for strikes as his ERA rose to 4.91.
It wasn’t an ideal outing for a pitcher competing with fellow
right-hander Jeff Niemann for a spot in the starting rotation.
”I would have loved to have done a lot better,” Davis said.
”The past couple of spring trainings I’ve had some rough springs.
I’ve definitely excelled better this year than I have in the past.
But at the same time you want to do better, and I’m definitely on a
better track of being ready for the season that I have been in the
past physically. My stuff’s sharper, I’ve added more weapons to my
repertoire and ultimately it’s not up to me.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon liked what he saw from Davis at the
start, when he struck out Hanley Ramirez after the speedy Emilio
Bonifacio tripled down the left-field line.
”I thought he started out great,” Maddon said. ”I really
liked the first inning a lot, and then after that it just, the
stuff just went away a little bit. Nothing wrong with him
physically, but I really liked the first inning a lot and I thought
we were going to see more of that, and then it seemed like after
home run it went back into that high-80 range. He still threw some
pretty good breaking balls but lost a little bit of his
Davis gave up homers to Buck and Bryan Peterson in the fourth,
which extended Miami’s lead to 4-0.
NOTES: Marlins LF Logan Morrison (knee), RF Giancarlo Stanton
(knee) and INF Greg Dobbs all hit in a minor league scrimmage in
Jupiter. Morrison and Stanton could play in the field in a minor
league game on Monday. … Rays LF Desmond Jennings (shoulder)
played left field and ran the bases in a minor league scrimmage.
… Rays SS Reid Brignac (foot) also played in the minor league
scrimmage. … The Rays reassigned C Craig Albernaz, OF Brad Coon,
1B Matt Mangini, RHP Jhonny Nunez and RHP Romulo Sanchez to their
minor league camp.