PITTSBURGH — Josh Johnson lived up to his own hype Tuesday night, pitching seven innings of scoreless baseball to shut out the Pirates, 6-0.

Johnson allowed just two hits, carrying a no-hitter through four innings.

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“If you’re going to start a franchise and pick a pitcher, you’re not going to wrong picking him,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

The no-hitter was nullified by Garrett Jones on a single to right field to lead off the fifth inning. John Bowker got the only other Pirates hit in the sixth inning. Neither hit mattered, though, as both resulted in 1-2-3 innings for Johnson, forcing Pirates hitters in to inning-ending double plays.

Johnson sent the Pirates (8-9) down in order in each of his seven innings of work.

It wasn’t only Johnson’s work on the mound, though, as he singled home the game-winning run in the second inning. His single to center off Pirates starter Paul Maholm drove in Mike Stanton and John Buck for a 2-0 lead.

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Buck drove in Stanton in the fourth to add on to the lead. Hanley Ramirez took a base on balls to advance the Marlins’ (9-6) lead to 4-0, and Gaby Sanchez followed with a two-run single to push the lead to 6-0.

“It stinks,” Maholm said. “I didn’t give the team a chance to win. Facing Johnson, you’ve got to be good, and I wasn’t.”

Maholm went just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking three.

The Pirates and Marlins return to the diamond Tuesday night. Charlie Morton is expected to take the mound for Pittsburgh and will go against Florida’s Ricky Nolasco.

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Chris Gates | Bucs Blog