Uggla connects to lift Marlins past Blue Jays' Halladay

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


"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


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.

Game notes
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.