Johnson's return to Blue Jays takes another step

Johnson's return to Blue Jays takes another step

ATLANTA -- Josh Johnson took another step closer to getting back to Toronto on Thursday night, when he made his second start with the Buffalo Bisons.

Johnson went 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, striking out three and walking three. He took the loss after the Bisons lost, 7-2, to the Durham Bulls. It was the third rehab start for Johnson, who went on the disabled list on May 2 with inflammation in his right triceps.

The 29-year-old fireballer was the centerpiece of the offseason trade with the Marlins that also netted Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck and cash. He started the season 0-1 with a 6.86 ERA in four starts before going on the DL.

Thursday's outing was supposed to be the final one for Johnson before returning to Toronto, following a rehab start at Class A Dunedin and another for Buffalo on May 25. He has a 5.40 ERA in those outings, allowing 12 hits, striking out 11 and walking four.

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.