MIAMI » In a matchup of aces, Roy Halladay’s walk to Josh Johnson proved pivotal.
Johnson later scored the Florida Marlins’ first run, and they squeezed out another in the eighth inning to beat Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 last night.
"When you have those two horses going, you know it’s a battle because you’re going to have to scratch and claw for every run," said Chris Coghlan, who had the game-winning RBI.
Johnson didn’t get the win. But he kept his team in the game against the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, pitching seven innings and allowing only one run — on Ryan Howard’s eighth homer leading off the second. He pitched out of bases-loaded jams in both the second and third.
"It seemed like I kept getting behind guys," Johnson said. "You’ve got to find a way to battle."
Coghlan’s single in the eighth drove home the tie-breaking run, which was unearned following an error by shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
Halladay (5-2) gave up only five hits in eight innings, but fell to 1-3 in his four matchups against Johnson.
"I’m kind of hoping he goes and plays somewhere else," Halladay said.
The loss ended Halladay’s streak of wins in 13 consecutive starts against NL East teams since July 5, 2010.
He was pitching in Miami for the first time since last May 29, when he threw his perfect game. Johnson was the losing pitcher that night.
The rematch drew an announced crowd of 21,955, including a large walk-up turnout.
"This game came as advertised," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "I think the fans had a lot of fun."
When Halladay walked Johnson on a 3-2 pitch to start the third, it led to the tying run. The walk was only the eighth issued by Halladay all season.
"A great at-bat — one of the best at-bats in the game," Rodriguez said. "JJ should be very proud of that."
"The walk definitely cost me," Halladay said. "You can’t afford to do that. I was definitely not thrilled about it."
Johnson sprinted to third on a double by Coghlan and scored on Emilio Bonifacio’s sacrifice fly.