With Miami's longest winning streak of the season now in the past, the Marlins hope Josh Johnson can get back on track and help prevent the team from beginning a slide in the wrong direction.
The Marlins look to bounce back from their first defeat this month when they conclude their already successful nine-game road trip Wednesday night against the Houston Astros.Miami (15-15) had won the first seven of the trip before Houston's Brian Bogusevic delivered a pinch-hit tiebreaking double in the eighth inning Tuesday to hand the Marlins a 3-2 loss. The club's seven-game winning streak followed a stretch of eight losses in nine contests.Omar Infante and John Buck each homered for the Marlins, but two errors on the same play by Infante allowed the Astros (14-16) to tie the score with two runs in the sixth inning."Errors come with the game," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's part of the game."Guillen also knows his team will have a hard time finding success if they are again held to four hits."Home runs come and that's awesome, that will help, but I think there's nothing you can do when you're not on base," Guillen said. "We need to get on base."Giancarlo Stanton had his 10-game hitting streak snapped by going 0 for 3 with two strikeouts Tuesday. Teammate Emilio Bonifacio, however, tied a club record by starting the season 15 for 15 in stolen base attempts after swiping second in the first inning.While the Marlins hope to begin another positive run, Johnson (0-3, 6.61 ERA) needs to turn things around after he allowed 11 runs, 16 hits and five walks while going 0-1 in eight innings of his last two starts. The right-hander was staked to a 5-0 first-inning lead in San Diego on Friday, but allowed six in the third and lasted only 2 2/3 innings of 9-8, 12-inning victory."I'm wearing my bullpen out, which kills me," Johnson told the Marlins' official website. "It's unacceptable."Johnson, who was limited to nine games in 2011 because of a shoulder injury, is 0-4 with a 4.31 ERA in 11 starts since beating Pittsburgh on April 19, 2011."When you throw the ball over the middle of the plate, it's going to get hit," Johnson said. "You have to set guys up and not throw the ball in the middle of the plate. Terrible."Johnson is 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in three starts versus Houston, allowing four homers in 15 1/3 innings.Winners in six of eight, the Astros hand the ball to Lucas Harrell (2-2, 4.76), who looks to build on his first victory in almost a month. The right-hander allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings -- all the damage came in the first three -- but came out ahead of a 5-4 win over St. Louis on Friday."I feel like I settled down as the game went on," Harrell told the Astros' official website.Harrell gave up four runs, seven hits and four walks over four innings in a 5-4, 11-inning loss at Miami on April 13.