LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Randy Johnson was less than perfect, yet he
was still good enough.
It was his second win in as many starts since pitching a perfect
game against Atlanta, and Johnson had to battle through this one.
"Obviously, my stuff isn't going to be like it was in Atlanta
every time out," he said. "I don't think that any pitcher can
realistically say that they've got their best stuff every time they
go out there.
"Sometimes you've got to pitch, and tonight I did."
Johnson (6-4) struck out four and walked one and held Los
Angeles to one hit through the first five innings. The Dodgers got
to him for one run in the sixth, then added two in the seventh.
"I was cruising along the first five innings, but when you
don't make your pitches and hit your location, you're going to get
hurt. But I didn't beat myself. They were hitting my pitches, but I
wasn't walking people."
Johnson, 40, is able to adjust effectively when he's not at his
best, Arizona manager Bob Brenly said.
"Randy will change his approach on a given night, depending on
what he's got working for him. Some nights he's got the
overpowering fastball, some nights he's got an exceptional slider
and some nights an exceptional splitter," Brenly said.
"So he'll pitch accordingly. Tonight he had a little bit of
everything, but none of them were exceptional."
Johnson has three of the four wins during that stretch, and is
the only Arizona starter with a victory over that span.
Elmer Dessens pitched 1 2-3 innings for his second major league
save, and first since he was with Cincinnati in 2000.
Jose Hernandez went 4-for-4 and drove in a run for Los Angeles,
which has lost 12 of 14.
Down 4-1, the Dodgers closed to 4-3 in the seventh on RBI
singles by Hernandez and Cesar Izturis.
Alex Cintron built the lead to 5-3 in the eighth when he drew a
leadoff walk, advanced on two wild pitches by reliever Darren
Dreifort, and scored on Steve Finley's sacrifice fly. Hammock then
homered off Duaner Sanchez in the ninth.
Hernandez, who was 3-for-24 and had struck out 16 times against
Johnson, went 3-for-3 against the Arizona ace, with a pair of
doubles. Hernandez's run-scoring single narrowed the gap to 4-2 and
Gonzalez hit his 13th homer with two outs in the fifth against
reliever Brian Falkenborg to give Arizona a 4-0 lead.
Falkenborg came in for Wilson Alvarez (2-2), who pitched just
two innings before leaving with a strained left hip.
"The unfortunate thing is losing our starting pitcher after two
innings," Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. "He was feeling a
little discomfort in the latter part of the first inning and it
increased in the second.
"They feel it's just a muscular thing, and we should know more
Alvarez had allowed two hits and Los Angeles trailed 1-0 when he
left the game. The 34-year-old is 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA.
Before the game, the Dodgers placed another starter, Hideo Nomo,
on the disabled list with a split nail on his right index finger.
Brenly plans to use Scott Service as the closer in place of
Jose Valverde, at least for a while. Service's contract was
purchased Thursday from Triple-A Tucson, where he was 5-0 with
eight saves and a 3.68 ERA in 21 appearances. ... The Diamondbacks'
three-game series at Dodger Stadium will wrap up a 13-game road
trip, their longest since 1999. ... Nomo was placed on the 15-day
DL retroactive to May 20. He cracked the nail during his May 19
start at Philadelphia. ... Los Angeles LF Dave Roberts was
activated after being sidelined by a strained right hamstring.