Marlin does it all vs. Braves

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MIAMI --- Josh Johnson's bat was just as potent as his pitching.

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Pitcher Josh Johnson waves to the crowd after hitting a three-run homer off Kenshin Kawakami in the fourth inning.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Pitcher Josh Johnson waves to the crowd after hitting a three-run homer off Kenshin Kawakami in the fourth inning.

Johnson hit a three-run homer in another solid start, lifting the Florida Marlins to a 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

Johnson's shot with two outs in the fourth off Kenshin Kawakami (5-8) went well over the center-field wall for only the second home run of his career. The homer earned him a curtain call from fans and gave the Marlins their seventh win in the past eight games.

"I thought it was gone when I hit it, but I kept running just in case," Johnson said. "It's fun. It's fun to be a part of right now."

Johnson (10-2) allowed eight hits in six innings before the bullpen kept the Braves scoreless the rest of the way. Leo Nunez gave up a triple in the ninth to Kelly Johnson before striking out Nate McLouth for his eighth save in 11 chances.

Casey Kotchman's home run leading off the fifth, and Garret Anderson's two-run homer in the sixth were all the Braves could squeeze out.

With Johnson having a stellar season, Marlins catcher John Baker said his teammate should be mentioned as one of the top NL Cy Young Award candidates.

"I look around baseball and I say, 'If I was going to take one pitcher for my team to start the game that we had to win, right now I'd pick Josh Johnson,' " Baker said.

Atlanta has done little to slow Florida, and not even another ejection from manager Bobby Cox to extend his major-league record to 147 could spark a rally.

Afterward, Cox said he didn't want to talk about umpires. Johnson's performance gave him enough to be upset about.

"He crushed that ball," Cox said. "The pitcher hits a three-run homer, he puts us in a hole real quick."


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