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Marlins' Johnson shuts down Yanks

FLORIDA'S Josh Johnson held the New York Yankees to three hits over seven innings and the Marlins eked out a 2-1 victory in an interleague game on Saturday.

The right-hander (7-1) struck out five and walked two, retiring 11 consecutive batters at one point.

"That's my kind of game: Get done, get to the dugout and get it over," Johnson told reporters.

Both sides praised his performance.

"I've been saying it since last year - JJ's one of the best in the game," Marlins center-fielder Cody Ross said.

"Any time he takes the mound, we just have got that confidence."

New York outfielder Johnny Damon agreed.

"I think he's one of the best pitchers in the league," Damon said. "Probably on his best day, he could be the best out there."

Dan Uggla homered for the Marlins in the second inning and Hanley Ramirez scored on a fielding error by the Yankees' Damon in the sixth.

"It's totally unacceptable," Damon said of misplaying the ball, which glanced off his glove.

"I saw that ball all the way and knew exactly what it was doing, knew it was sinking.

"To miss by an inch or two, that happens," he said. "But to miss it by a foot, that's awful."

Nick Swisher drove in New York's run with a single in the seventh.

Former Marlin A. J. Burnett (5-4) took the loss. He struck out eight but gave up five hits and both the runs.

A fatigued Alex Rodriguez, who has been benched for two games, pinch-hit in the eighth inning in his first regular-season at-bat in his hometown this year - and walked.

The Yankees lost for the third time in four games.

In other interleague play on Saturday, it was: Dodgers 6, Angels 4; Tigers 9, Brewers 5; Giants 2, Rangers 1 (in 11 innings); Red Sox 3, Braves 0; Rays 3, Mets 1; Cardinals 7, Royals 1; Orioles 6, Phillies 5; White Sox 10, Reds 8; Astros 6, Twins 5; Mariners 7, Diamondbacks 3; Cubs 6, Indians 5, 13 innings; Athletics 6, Padres 3; and Nationals 5, Blue Jays 3 (in 12 innings).

In the only National League game on Saturday, Todd Helton hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning to help the Colorado Rockies down Pittsburgh Pirates 9-7 and win a fourth straight game.

Pinch-hitter Seth Smith singled with one out before Helton's drive into the Pirates' bullpen in right center field.


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