MIAMI (AP) -- Florida manager Joe Girardi's preseason message to
the Marlins outlined his expectations for the team.
And now his players are starting to live up to his words.Dan Uggla had three hits and knocked in the go-ahead run to help
the Florida Marlins beat Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1
Sunday for their eighth straight win."I told the guys when they first put on the uniforms back in
spring training that we were here to win -- we didn't get into this
to lose," said Girardi, in his first year managing the Marlins.Halladay (8-2) suffered his first loss in 12 starts. He allowed
four runs and eight hits in six innings as the Blue Jays were swept
for the second time this season. The right-hander struck out seven
and walked two."My command wasn't as good as it has been, and I cost myself a
few extra pitches," Halladay said. "It's important if you can get
ahead of the hitters -- it makes it a lot different. I really didn't
do that as well today."The Marlins' winning streak is their longest since they won nine
straight from Aug. 27-Sept. 8, 2004. Their 6-0 homestand marked the
fourth undefeated homestand of six games or more in team history.
The last time was Sept. 26-Oct. 1, 2000.Josh Johnson (6-4) went 5 2/3 innings despite throwing a total
of 55 pitches in the first two innings. He gave up one run and
eight hits with six walks and five strikeouts. Joe Borowski pitched
the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.Toronto stranded a season-high 15 runners and loaded the bases
in the first, second and fifth."The name of our game is offense, and we didn't get it," Blue
Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They shut us down."Johnson threw a career-high 119 pitches and lowered his ERA to
2.01."You just have to do everything and anything to keep the runs
and mistakes to a minimum," Johnson said. "When I really needed
it, I made a big pitch."Florida pushed across two runs in the fifth with two outs to
take a 4-1 lead. Halladay struck out the first two batters before
Uggla tripled to right-center. Miguel Cabrera was intentionally
walked, and Cody Ross and Jeremy Hermida then delivered run-scoring
singles.Uggla also singled in Hanley Ramirez in the third and Miguel Olivo had a sacrifice fly for the Marlins.Toronto led 1-0 after loading the bases in each of the first two
innings. The run scored when Uggla booted Gregg Zaun's grounder
with one out in the second."That's how you know what kind of pitcher he is, that's when
you can tell you have someone special on the mound," Uggla said of
Johnson, "because when he doesn't have his best stuff, he still
can give you a chance to win."The Blue Jays previously were swept May 19-21 at Colorado.
Following the game, Toronto announced it had recalled RHP
Josh Towers from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned RHP Vinnie Chulk.
Towers will start Tuesday in Atlanta, with LHP Ted Lilly being
pushed back a day. RHP Ty Taubenheim will go to the bullpen. ...
RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow) allowed one earned run in six innings in a
rehab start on Saturday night for Double-A New Hampshire. He's
scheduled to start for Toronto on Thursday at Atlanta. ... Gibbons
was ejected by plate umpire Sam Holbrook in the second. Gibbons
apparently was arguing a strike call with Vernon Wells batting and
the bases loaded with one out. It was Gibbons' third ejection of
the season. ... Florida swept consecutive series for the first time
since Aug. 27-Sept. 2, 2004 (Colorado, at New York Mets). ...
Toronto C Bengie Molina did not play. He extended his hitting
streak to a career-high 16 games Saturday night.