Johnson outduels Pedro as Marlins win fourth straight

MIAMI, Fla. (AP) -- Josh Johnson didn't let who he was pitching
against affect his confidence.

The 6-foot-7 rookie outpitched Pedro Martinez and had a
career-high eight strikeouts to lead the Florida Marlins to their
fourth straight victory, 5-1 over the New York Mets on Friday

Johnson (4-2) allowed two hits and an unearned run over seven
innings in his longest outing for the Marlins (15-31).

"It was exciting to share the mound with him," Johnson said.
"Then I thought, `Well, I'm here, I might as well do it.' I knew I
had to throw pretty well to get a win. I can always say I pitched
against him when he got his first loss of 2006."

It was the Mets' first look at Johnson.

"He had pretty good stuff and he's a big kid," Mets manager
Willie Randolph said. "We had him on the ropes early but we got a
little impatient when we could have made him work a little bit
more. When you don't swing the bat, you look flat."

Martinez (5-1) allowed two runs and five hits over seven
innings, striking out 10. It was the 108th time the three-time Cy
Young Award winner struck out at least 10.

"You can't give up a lot of runs against him because you know
you're not going to get a lot," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said
of Martinez. "Johnson was outstanding. The kid throws strikes and
stays ahead in the count."

Martinez had retired 10 consecutive batters when Mike Jacobs led
off the seventh with a single. Miguel Cabrera and Josh Willingham
followed with singles to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. Martinez got
out of the inning when Jeremy Hermida grounded into a fielder's
choice, Reggie Abercrombie struck out and Miguel Olivo flied out.

"It's difficult to pitch against anybody you don't know," said
Martinez, referring to the seven rookies in the Marlins' lineup.
"They are good enough to beat us and they are good enough to beat

Martinez felt he pitched good enough to win.

"I didn't lose today. I went out to win and finished the game a
winner," Martinez said. "I did what I was supposed to do for our
team to win."

Florida scored three runs in the eighth off reliever Duaner
Sanchez. Dan Uggla's grounder up the middle caromed off second base
to drive in two runs and Jacobs drove in Uggla with a single to

"Personally, it was more exciting to beat a team that got rid
of you," said Jacobs, who was traded by the Mets to the Marlins
after last season. "Plus, they are the first-place team. That says
a lot about us."

The Mets went ahead 1-0 in the first on an RBI single by Carlos
Beltran after a throwing error by catcher Olivo.

The Marlins tied it at 1 on Olivo's home run over the left field
scoreboard in the third.

Game notes
Marlins OF Chris Aguila was optioned to Triple-A
Albuquerque on Friday. ... Jacobs was so badly fooled on a
first-inning third strike by Martinez that he threw his bat at the
ball and it ended up near third base. ... Mets 3B David Wright, who
missed Friday's game with back spasms, is expected to play
tomorrow. ... C Paul Lo Duca and 1B Carlos Delgado returned to
Dolphin Stadium for the first time since being traded from the
Marlins after last season. ... Lo Duca's third-inning single
extended his hitting streak to 11 games.