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07/07/10 2:11 AM EST

JJ eyes additional support in final first-half start

Josh Johnson is setting himself up for quite the busy seven days.

And he better get used to Southern California while he's at it.

Johnson will take the hill for the Marlins against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday in the rubber match of their three-game set, then return to the area for Tuesday's All-Star Game in Anaheim.

At 8-3 with a 1.82 ERA, the right-handed Johnson has established himself as one of the National League's top pitchers. His start Wednesday means he will get a chance to pitch in this year's All-Star contest, something he was unable to do last year -- his first All-Star campaign -- because he started the Sunday before the game.

Florida's hitters certainly owe their ace some help.

Johnson has a 1.55 ERA over his last four starts, but has notched just one win during that span because of a total of five runs of support from his offense. He has struck out at least seven batters during each of his last four contests -- 33 in all -- while walking just two.

The 26-year-old righty went just five innings in his only other start against the Dodgers this season, a 7-6 Marlins win on April 10 in Florida. Johnson recorded a no-decision, striking out seven and walking three while allowing three earned runs on eight hits.

Every Johnson outing since then has been a quality start, a stretch of 15 games with an ERA of 1.38.

Perhaps Johnson will finally get the run support he needs Wednesday, as he will face the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda, who is coming off his worst start of the season. Kuroda allowed six earned runs over 1 2/3 innings in a loss at Arizona on Friday.

Still, the 25-year-old right-hander has just one fewer win than Johnson, as he stands at 7-6 with a 3.78 ERA.

Marlins: Sanchez wins rookie honors
Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez earned Gillette Rookie of the Month honors for June in the National League. Sanchez hit .375 in June, with four home runs and 16 RBIs. He leads all NL rookies in batting average, hits (90), doubles (19), total bases (140), on-base percentage (.373) and extra-base hits (30).

Dodgers: Rehab decision is Manny's
Manager Joe Torre said Tuesday that Manny Ramirez has control over where he will make his first rehab assignment, be it Triple-A Albuquerque or Class A Inland Empire. Ramirez is on the disabled list retroactive to June 30 with a right hamstring injury, and he is eligible to return to action the first game after the All-Star break. ... Out with a blister on his throwing hand, Carlos Monasterios threw a bullpen session Tuesday and is scheduled to be activated from the DL on Wednesday. He last threw three innings for Albuquerque on Saturday. No roster move to make room for Monasterios has been announced. ... Torre said there are no plans to stick Jeff Weaver into the starting rotation despite his success out of the bullpen. Weaver is 5-1 with a 3.54 ERA.

Worth noting
Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal was named NL Player of the Week for June 28-July 4. Furcal went 14-for-26 (.538) as the Dodgers went 5-1. ... Olympic gold medalist ice skater and former "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Evan Lysacek, a Los Angeles resident, threw out the first pitch Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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