Series: Game 1 of 3

Arizona leads 1-0 (as of 6/8)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 8
Game 2: Wednesday, June 9
Game 3: Thursday, June 10

Diamondbacks 8

(23-35, 11-18 away)

Orioles 1

(25-28, 13-15 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 8, 2004

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    123456789 R H E
    ARI 002110040 8 14 1
    BAL 000100000 1 5 1

    W: R. Johnson (8-4)

    L: S. Ponson (3-7)

    Johnson allows three hits in seven innings

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- Forced to rely more on guile than raw power, Randy Johnson still found a way to efficiently dispose of the Baltimore Orioles and win his fifth straight start.

    Johnson limited the Orioles to three hits over seven innings, and the Arizona Diamondbacks opened their interleague schedule with an 8-1 victory Tuesday night.

    Johnson (8-4) started his five-game run with a perfect game against Atlanta on May 18. He wasn't as sharp in this one, but plenty good enough to improve to 5-7 lifetime against Baltimore.

    "He did what he had to do to win," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "Tonight he didn't have his good fastball early. He had a pretty good slider going he was able to throw for strikes, but more than anything else, he changed speeds.

    "There was a day not too long ago that if had gone out there with a 92 mph fastball and an inconsistent slider early in the game, he probably wouldn't have lasted very long," Brenly said. "But he's learned how to get by with less than his best until he finds it."

    Pitching in Baltimore for the first time since 1997, Johnson allowed one run, struck out four and walked one. After the Orioles scored their lone run in the fourth inning, the left-hander retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.

    "I was able to use all my pitches and get ahead in the count for the most part," Johnson said. "I threw less than 100 pitches and I got through seven innings, so as a pitcher, who wouldn't want to do that?"

    He had thrown only 89 pitches and was six outs from his 91st career complete game when Brenly went to the bullpen with the Diamondbacks up 8-1.

    That was fine with the 40-year-old Johnson, who made short work of the Orioles on a humid night.

    "It was hot out there, and being pitch efficient out there is probably what you'd want rather than to labor out there and throw 120, 125 pitches," he said.

    Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli stacked his lineup entirely with right-handed batters and switch-hitters, but Baltimore got only one runner past second base in losing for the fifth time in six games.

    "It's tough, especially when he's getting his slider over for strikes. When he's doing that, he's awfully tough to hit," said Jerry Hairston, who scored the Orioles' only run.

    Johnson got all the support he needed when the Diamondbacks got two runs in the third against Sidney Ponson. Arizona ultimately chased Ponson (3-7) during a four-run eighth.

    Ponson gave up six runs, five earned, and 11 hits over seven-plus innings in losing his fourth straight start. He's got an 8.17 ERA over that span.

    "We knew we weren't going to get a lot of runs off Randy unless he had a real off night," Hairston said. "Sidney tried his hardest to keep it close, but they swung the bats well."

    Playing for the first time in an organized baseball game with his little brother on the same field, Hairston went 2-for-3 with a walk.

    His brother, Arizona second baseman Scott Hairston, was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

    "It was cool, it really was," Jerry Hairston said.

    Arizona went up 2-0 in the third when Alex Cintron and Scott Hairston hit successive doubles before Danny Bautista drove in a run with a two-out single.

    The Diamondbacks added a run in the fourth when Shea Hillenbrand hit a leadoff double and scored on a two-out single by designated hitter Carlos Baerga, making only his second start of the season.

    A walk to Jerry Hairston, a single by Melvin Mora and a run-scoring grounder by Miguel Tejada brought Baltimore to 3-1 in the bottom half, but Arizona restored its three-run cushion in the fifth when Bautista scored on a throwing error by Mora at third.

    Chad Tracy doubled in two runs in the Arizona eighth, and two more runners came in on wild pitches by rookie Eddy Rodriguez.

    Game notes

    Arizona has gone four straight games without a homer. ... Baltimore fell to 5-10 against left-handed starters. ... The Diamondbacks, who went an NL-best 11-4 in interleague play, began a stretch in which they will play 15 of 18 games against AL foes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press