Doc Goes the Distance, Loses in Battle of the Aces

Roy Halladay seemingly outdueled Florida's Josh Johnson Tuesday night but it wouldn't be enough.

Doc was great in his much-anticipated duel against Johnson in Miami but despite a complete game (be it of the eight-inning variety) five-hitter, Halladay took the loss.

The Marlins beat the Phillies No. 1 ace 2-1 after an unearned run broke a 1-all tie in the bottom of the eighth.

Halladay (5-2) threw 115 strikeouts in eight innings, allowing the five hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks while striking out seven. He really only ran into trouble in the third and eighth innings.

In the third he inexplicitly walked Johnson to turn over the lineup with one out. Chris Coghlan followed up with a double and Johnson came home to score on a sac fly by Emilio Bonifacio.

"The walk definitely cost me," Halladay said. "You can't afford to do that. I was definitely not thrilled about it."

In the eighth Halladay got Omar Infante to ground to Jimmy Rollins but the Phillies shortstop bobbled and was late with his throw earning a error. Infante advanced on a wild pitch by Halladay and went to third on pinch hitter Ozzie Martinez. Coghlan then hit a bloop single to bring home the winning run.

The Phillies only run came in the second when Ryan Howard took John the other way to make it 1-0 Phils. Johnson then loaded the bases with no one out. But the bottom of the lineup again came up empty as Dane Sardinha and Halladay both struck out before leadoff hitter Rollins grounded out to end the threat.

"You have a guy on the ropes," Rollins said. "That would have been a good way to blow the game open. We didn't take advantage."

The Phils would load the bases again the next inning -- this time with two outs -- but Pete Orr grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.

Johnson wound up throwing 114 pitches in seven innings allowing six hits and three walks while striking out seven. Mike Dunn (3-2) pitched a hitless eighth to take the win. Leo Nunez threw a scoreless ninth to earn his 12th save of the season.

The loss dropped the Phils to 23-12 and helped the Marlins claw back to two games behind the Phightins.

The same teams face off again Wednesday in the rubber match as Phillies No. 2 ace Cliff Lee (2-3, 3.69 ERA) takes on righty Ricky Nolasco (3-0, 3.23 ERA).

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