PHOENIX (AP) -- Randy Johnson finished a trying -- but impressive
-- season as a winner.
Whether he will be back in an Arizona uniform remains to be
Johnson got some rare offensive support, including his own
two-run double, and the Diamondbacks rallied from a five-run
deficit to beat the San Diego Padres 7-6 on Saturday night.
Johnson (16-14) allowed six runs -- only one earned -- and 10 hits
in eight innings. He struck out eight and walked none.
"It was nice to sum up the end of my performance for this year
that way," Johnson said. "We battled. That's the biggest thing."
He threw 123 pitches, 91 for strikes.
"I'm gassed right now," Johnson said. "There's somewhere on
my body that's not sore or tired, but I'll let you know tomorrow."
It was the first time in 11 starts that Arizona scored more than
three runs for Johnson, the major league strikeouts leader with
After undergoing knee surgery last year, Johnson came back to
finish with a 2.60 ERA that's second-best in the majors, a major
league-leading 290 strikeouts and a .197 opponents' batting
average, best in the National League. All that for a team that has
lost 111 games.
With one game to go, Johnson has 32 percent of Arizona's
victories this season -- the highest percentage since Nolan Ryan had
22 of California's 58 victories (32.4 percent) in 1974.
Fans watching Johnson conclude his sixth season with Arizona
were left wondering whether it would be his last. The 41-year-old
left-hander has a year -- and $16 million -- left on his contract,
with a no-trade clause, and he might listen if the Diamondbacks try
to trade him.
Johnson brushed off a question about the possibility.
"Let me just enjoy today's game," he said.
The Padres scored five unearned runs after shortstop Jerry Gil's
two-base throwing error to go up 5-0 in the fourth, but the
Diamondbacks rallied to tie it in the bottom half of the inning.
Johnson's two-run double off starter Brian Sweeney brought in the
"It was his day," Sweeney said. "He did a good job -- and
knocked me out of the game."
"It was nice," Hillenbrand said. "It's too bad we couldn't
have done it for him more often."
With one out in the fourth, Gil fielded a routine grounder and
threw wildly past first, with batter Mark Loretta advancing to
Rich Aurilia followed with an RBI single, the Padres' first hit
of the game. Phil Nevin singled, then Ojeda grounded into a
fielder's choice for the second out. Xavier Nady singled sharply
off third baseman Chad Tracy's glove to bring in the second run.
Arizona's rally began with Hillenbrand's one-out double, then
Snyder walked. After the runners advanced on a wild pitch, Josh
Kroeger and Luis Terrero hit RBI singles. Then, Gil grounded into
the gap between second and third. Loretta fielded the ball, but
threw wildly past first and another run scored.
That brought up Johnson, who doubled to the fence in
right-center to tie it at 5, and Sweeney's night was over.
"It got a little ugly that inning -- on both sides. You get five
runs, you'd like to think you can hold it, but we didn't," San
Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's one I know we let get
Mike Bynum (0-1) took the loss even though he gave up just one
hit in two-thirds of an inning, Doug DeVore's dribbler up the
middle leading off the fifth.
Johnson and the rest of the Arizona team left the field
with two outs in the third inning when the scoreboard showed three
outs. Johnson tipped his hat to the crowd after returning to the
mound to record the inning's final out. ... Johnson is 14-3 against
the Padres. ... In the fourth, Johnson had an 0-2 count on Ojeda,
Nagy, Payton and Gonzalez but gave up hits to all four.