Harris' first homer in a year cements Marlins win
MIAMI (Ticker) --
' rare power display assured the
of another non-losing season.
Harris belted a pinch two-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Marlins secure a 5-2 victory over the playoff-bound
Florida (81-79) clinched its third consecutive season without a losing record and just the fourth in the franchise's 13-year history. The win also ended a season-high six-game losing streak and prevented the Marlins from slipping to .500 for the first time since July 22.
The 40-year-old Harris, who had not homered since September 23, 2004, lofted a 3-2 pitch from Braves closer
to stretch Florida's lead to three. It was the fifth pinch home run of Harris' 17-year career.
"I thought it was going to hook so I tried to give it a little english at the plate and it kind of stayed fair," Harris said.
"Lenny, he tries every year to hit one," Marlins manager Jack McKeon joked.
The Marlins jumped ahead, 3-2, in the sixth when
, who led off the frame with a double off Braves starter
pitched solidly in his first major league start, allowing two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. The 21-year-old righthander struck out seven and walked four.
"He's got a great sinker," Braves manager
said. "The ball moves in big time. He knows how to pitch."
"He did a good job," McKeon said. "It's too bad we don't have more games where we could give him a few more opportunities, but he did his job tonight. I think he's got a good future here."
Johnson went 12-4 with a 3.87 ERA for Class AA Carolina of the Southern League before being called up by Florida on September 7. He has posted a 3.65 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings for the Marlins.
"It was awesome," Johnson said. "Last start of the year, last time being out there. I'm excited about what happened and everything, so I'll take that into next year."
(2-2) retired both batters he faced, but one was
, whose sacrifice fly tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the sixth.
followed by pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings before closer
got the final four outs for his 39th save.