Johnson -- named to his 10th All-Star Game -- threw a five-hitter
and struck out 10 for his 10th victory and Al Pedrique got his
first win as Arizona manager in the Diamondbacks' 6-2 victory over
the Minnesota Twins on Sunday."It makes the job a lot easier knowing that the guy was
dealing," Pedrique said. "He was under control since the game
started."As Johnson walked off the field, he handed the ball to Pedrique."I said `Congratulations on your first major-league win,"
Johnson said.Shea Hillenbrand drove in three runs with a triple and home run,
and that was plenty of offense for Johnson, who didn't walk a
batter and had three-ball count only once. Of his 108 pitches, 78
were strikes. Only one of Minnesota's runs was earned."He made it rough on a few of our hitters," Minnesota manager
Ron Gardenhire said. "They didn't really have too much of a
chance, it looked like. We've seen him do that against a lot of
people."Torii Hunter had never batted against Johnson."He was kind of a different type of pitcher than I thought,"
Hunter said. "He threw a lot more off-speed and late in the count
threw a fastball. He's a good pitcher, man. He's pitching, just
blowing guys away. He's pitching."Johnson (10-6) won for the first time in four starts, even
though he was coming off two strong outings. He struck out eight in
his last start to reach 4,000 for his career, but Arizona lost 3-2.The complete game was Johnson's third of the season and 38th of
his career. Afterwards, he didn't want to talk about speculation
that he might ask for a trade to a contender with the Diamondbacks
rebuilding."I have no comment on that," he said. "Let's just enjoy the
win."But he did say his young teammates need to realize what it takes
to win."There's a lot that's happened this year. We all know that,"
Johnson said. "It's not easy for anybody right now, so I think a
lot of people just really need to step up. It's time to step up and
start being accountable. This is the major leagues now. It's not
the minor leagues anymore."The Diamondbacks salvaged the third game of the series, winning
for just the third time in 16 games. Pedrique won in his third game
as manager since Bob Brenly was fired on Friday."It feels nice, very relaxed," Pedrique said. "I feel like
the monkey is off my shoulders now."Carlos Silva (8-6) gave up four runs on nine hits in six innings
for his second loss in a row and third in four starts.The Diamondbacks added two insurance runs in the eighth on
consecutive triples by Alex Cintron and Quinton McCracken.
McCracken scored on his triple off the center field wall when
Hunter bobbled the ball.Right fielder McCracken misjudged a fly ball by Matthew LeCroy
that would have been the final out of the game, allowing Nick Punto
to score from third, but Hunter then grounded out to second base to
end it.Arizona took an early lead with two runs in the fifth. Steve
Finley reached on a fielder's choice, took second on a groundout,
then was awarded third on a balk.Hillenbrand's triple past a diving Michael Restovich in right
field scored Silva, then Chad Tracy followed with an RBI double.The Twins cut it to 2-1 in the second when consecutive singles
by Hunter and Restovich put runners on first and third. Hunter
scored when Henry Blanco hit into a double play.Johnson shut down the Twins after that, retiring the next 10
batters.Hillenbrand's home run came after Twins' second baseman Luis
Rivas bobbled the ball on what should have been a double-play
grounder that would have ended the third inning. Alomar led off
with a single, then Steve Finley flied out. Luis Gonzalez hit a
double-play grounder to second, but the ball bounced off Rivas'
glove, and all the second baseman could do was pick it up and throw
out the batter.Alomar advanced to second, then Hillenbrand hit Silva's 1-2
pitch 418 feet to left-center for his eighth home run of the season
and a 4-1 lead.
Arizona's three triples tied a team record. .... Minnesota
closer Joe Nathan was named to his first All-Star game. ... Finley
and Minnesota's Lew Ford are among the five AL and five NL players
who will be voted on via Internet for the last spot on each
All-Star team. ... Despite winning two of three in Arizona, the
Twins have lost six of eight.