The mutual respect was clear when Johnson, on his 41st birthday,
finally was rewarded for a standout performance in a tough season,
a 2-1 win for Arizona Diamondbacks over the San Francisco Giants on
Friday night."To me he's the best left-hander ever," Bonds said. "He's
worked hard throughout his career. You can't say enough for him.
He's just awesome, and he keeps getting better. If he had any kind
of run support, he'd be fighting for the Cy Young with everybody
else."Johnson (13-13) plunked Bonds with a 95 mph fastball, but there
were no hard feelings."Randy's not like that. He's not a dirty player. Randy will
protect his team if he has to, but he's not a dirty pitcher,"
Bonds said. "There's some that are, and Randy's definitely not one
of them. He didn't get that great by being dirty. He got that great
by being good."Doug DeVore hit a two-run homer in the seventh after Bonds had
singled and scored in the top half.Bonds, who remained two shy of 700 career homers, also tied the
season record for walks he set two years ago at 198 when Mike
Koplove put him on intentionally leading off the eighth. Bonds has
103 intentional walks this year, already a record."That ball that he hit for a base hit could easily have been a
home run, too," Johnson said. "He's a special player. ...
Everything he hits is hard. What other hitters foul off, he doesn't
miss. That's why he's the player that he is."San Francisco (77-65) is tied with Houston in the wild-card
race, one percentage point behind the Chicago Cubs (75-63). The
Giants had won eight straight over the Diamondbacks.Danny Bautista singled to start the seventh, stole second and
DeVore, after falling behind 0-2 in the count against Jim Brower
(7-7), hit his second homer of the season, an opposite-field drive
to left-center.Greg Aquino pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 12
opportunities.Johnson, 0-3 in his previous four starts despite a 2.43 ERA,
allowed one run and four hits in seven innings to earn his 100th
victory with the Diamondbacks. He struck out eight, walked one and
hit a batter -- Bonds on a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the fourth.Johnson leads the major leagues in ERA (2.75) and opponent
batting average (.191) -- on a team that is 55 games below .500."To be honest, mentally he's tired," Arizona manager Al
Pedrique said, "and still he goes out every fifth day and he does
what he does best."It has been a long season."I'm 41 today," Johnson joked. "But I feel a lot older."After brushing Bonds back two pitches earlier, Johnson hit the
slugger just below the right shoulder. Bonds knelt down in pain, as
the Giants' trainer and manager Felipe Alou ran to his side. After
a moment, Bonds stood up and walked to first."He asked me out there if I was all right," Bonds said of
Johnson. "I said `Yeah, let's play."Edgardo Alfonzo followed with a bloop single to left, San
Francisco's first hit of the game. The inning ended when Marquis
Grissom popped out to center.Bonds led off the seventh with a lined single to left. Alfonzo
singled, then Grissom walked on four pitches to load the bases.
After Yorvit Torrealba's single, Dustin Mohr popped out,
pinch-hitter Brian Dallimore struck out and Ray Durham grounded
out.The first of three Giants' pinch-hitters in the ninth, Michael
Tucker, walked. J.T. Snow popped out, then Tucker took second on a
wild pitch and moved to third on A.J. Pierzynski's groundout. After
a walk to Durham, Deivi Cruz grounded into a game-ending forceout.Brett Tomko allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, striking
out seven and walking two but was lifted for Dallimore after the
Giants had taken the 1-0 lead."I thought maybe we needed a couple of more runs," Alou said.
"But it didn't work out."
1B Shea Hillenbrand was a late scratch for the Diamondbacks
with swelling in his right knee. ... Arizona rookie 3B Chad Tracy
committed his 24th error when he booted a grounder in the first
inning. ... Johnson fanned the side on 12 pitches in the third. ...
The Giants finished the season 3-2 against Johnson.