Over his last five games, Johnson has a 1.60 ERA (six earned runs in 33 2/3 innings) and has held opponents to a .161 average (19-for-118). Despite that, he is just 2-2 during that span, and is coming off a hard-luck loss during which he gave up just one run on three hits in eight innings.
"I made a mistake early on," Johnson said after that start. "I can't do that right now, but you've got to keep going, keep battling."
Although Johnson has been stellar of late, he might just get the help he needs when he takes the mound for Sunday's series finale against the Rockies at Coors Field. The Marlins have scored 24 runs in their last four games after being shut out in their previous three.
That offense will get an extra boost Sunday, as center fielder Emilio Bonifacio (thumb) and infielder Donnie Murphy (hamstring) return from the disabled list.
While Miami's offense has been hot since a franchise-record 30-inning scoreless streak, Rockies lefty Drew Pomeranz will be tasked with trying to cool the Marlins off and attempting to secure a series split.
Pomeranz has dropped his last four decisions, and hasn't pitched more than four innings in each of his last three starts as the Rockies closely monitor the 23-year-old's innings count. Pomeranz threw 119 1/3 frames between the Minors and the Majors last season, and he's already at 111 1/3 this year, including 60 2/3 in 13 starts with the Rockies.
"We're eyeing where he's at from an innings standpoint in relation to where he was at a year ago," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "I think if you look at what a young stage he's at in his professional career as far as innings logged from one season to the next, we're keeping an eye on that."
Marlins: Zambrano still adjusting to 'pen
Carlos Zambrano hasn't quite embraced his role out of the Marlins' bullpen, which is understandable considering the veteran righty has made 302 career starts, including 20 this season.
"I'm not comfortable, but I have to do my job," he said. "I don't want to be in the bullpen, but I have to do my job still."
Zambrano pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings Friday, and he is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in seven relief appearances. Zambrano has not been given an indication when or if he'll return to the rotation, but he does take satisfaction in an effort like Friday, when he relieved starter Wade LeBlanc and the Marlins won, 6-5.
"Anytime I go in and do a good job and help this team, I'm happy for that," Zambrano said.
Rockies: Tulo runs the bases
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki ran the bases for the first time since May 31, when he landed on the disabled list with a strained left groin. Colorado head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Tulowitzki has progressed at a steady pace, adding there's an "outside chance" the shortstop could be ready for game action during the Rockies' road trip that begins Monday.
"Picking up his baseball activity, the ground balls, he's pain-free, not thinking about it," Dugger said. "Still some stuff I want to do, uncontrolled environment-type running, tagging up on a fly ball over the shoulder. We can do that on the road too. He's getting there. He's real close."
Giancarlo Stanton has homered in each of his first six career games at Coors Field, becoming the first Major League player to ever do so in his first six games at any ballpark.
Johnson is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in five games, including four starts, in his career against the Rockies.