Miami can't reward JJ; game gets away in ninth

Miami can't reward JJ; game gets away in ninth

Miami can't reward JJ; game gets away in ninth
MIAMI -- Ozzie Guillen sensed something was amiss with his team Saturday.

In the midst of a five-game losing streak and a 4-15 start to June entering the day, Guillen didn't like what he saw from his players on the field, even with righty Josh Johnson dealing on the mound.

"We should be embarrassed. I think we played tight," Guillen said. "I think we waited for something bad to happen. This game is about making things happen, not making the bad thing happen."

The Marlins were unable to make much happen in a 7-1 loss to the Blue Jays -- one that tied the team's season-long losing streak and guaranteed Miami its sixth consecutive series loss. Instead, as Guillen suggested, they waited and something bad happened in the ninth inning, as Edwin Encarnacion hit a go-ahead home run and Colby Rasmus sealed the game with a grand slam in a six-run frame that turned a pitching duel into a lopsided Miami loss.

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Steve Cishek, in his second inning of relief, got ahead of Encarnacion with two quick strikes to open the ninth. But with the count at 1-2, the Blue Jays first baseman unloaded on a home run that landed in the Miami bullpen behind the left-field wall.

It was the 21st shot of the season for Encarnacion, and until that point, Toronto's fourth hit of the game.

"It was huge," Rasmus said. "He has been unbelievable. But there's no 'I' in team; it takes everybody. He got a good pitch out over the plate and was able to drive it over the fence. It helps us for sure."

Encarnacion's solo shot sparked Toronto as things began to snowball for Cishek and Miami. Cishek gave up a single and an intentional walk before balking the runners to second and third. A misplayed sacrifice bunt resulted in another run before Cishek was pulled for Edward Mujica.

Mujica didn't fare any better, hitting Brett Lawrie with a pitch two batters in and then surrendering a grand slam to Rasmus -- the third slam of his career.

"Just seems like we find different ways to lose," Johnson said. "That's pretty much what it boils down to."

Although he didn't factor into the decision, Johnson turned in an impressive seven-inning performance. He yielded a season-low two hits, struck out seven and retired the final nine batters he faced. But he walked two, both in the second inning, and that set up the lone run he allowed.

"I felt like we were in it and we were ready to win," center fielder Justin Ruggiano said. "It just didn't work out. It's disappointing, especially with JJ pitching the way he did. He deserved a win here. I know all of us on the field wanted to give it to him."

Back-to-back walks to open the second cost Johnson a run in an inning he didn't surrender a hit.

Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson each drew free passes after working the count full. A sacrifice bunt by Yunel Escobar advanced the two into scoring position. The Blue Jays again used a bunt to get on the board.

Rajai Davis' safety squeeze was pushed near the first-base line, where it was fielded by Johnson. Opting to go home, Johnson made a high throw to the plate, and Encarnacion slid in safely under Brett Hayes' tag.

Johnson minimized the damage by getting Jeff Mathis to bounce into a double play, stranding a runner at third.

In the fifth inning, Ruggiano made a sensational play to save two runs. Escobar and Davis singled to open the inning -- the only two hits Johnson allowed -- and with two outs, Lawrie smoked a liner to deep center. Sprinting straight back, Ruggiano raced under the ball and made a leaping, diving grab to end the threat.

Ruggiano walked to the dugout to a standing ovation from the 24,448 in attendance, and was greeted by high-fives from his teammates, who waited on the edge of the field for him.

"When a guy is pitching like that, I'll sell out my body for him," Ruggiano said. "For his sake, I'm glad I was able to make that catch."

The Marlins had a couple of chances early, but Brett Cecil was able to induce two double-play ground balls in the first and fourth innings.

But in the seventh inning, Miami pulled even at 1 on Omar Infante's RBI double. Ruggiano dropped a bunt single to get the inning going. Infante ripped his game-tying hit down the left-field line.

Cecil was lifted after six-plus innings, and Jason Frasor kept the score tied, stranding Infante at third and ending the Marlins' last scoring chance, as they went silently in the eighth and ninth and dropped five games below .500.

"Every move we make, every execution on the field is a bad move, bad execution," Guillen said. "The only way you survive out of this is get your head out of your butt and start playing."

Tom Green is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.