Series: Game 3 of 3

Arizona won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, September 17
Arizona 2Final
San Diego 3
Game 2: Wednesday, September 18
Arizona 10Final
San Diego 3
Game 3: Thursday, September 19
Arizona 3Final
San Diego 1

Diamondbacks 3

(94-58, 43-32 away)

Padres 1

(64-89, 40-38 home)

    5:05 PM ET, September 19, 2002

    Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 

    123456789 R H E
    ARI 100000020 3 - -
    SD 010000000 1 - -

    W: R. Johnson (23-5)

    L: C. Condrey (1-1)

    S: B. Kim (34)

    Johnson matches Schilling for most wins

    SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The last thing Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly thought he'd have to do was take out Randy Johnson after seven innings and the score tied 1-1 against the last-place San Diego Padres.

    Randy Johnson

    Randy Johnson is 81-27 with a 2.48 ERA over the last four years with the Diamondbacks.

    Johnson ended up with yet another September victory, though, after the Diamondbacks rallied for two unearned runs in the eighth to beat the Padres 3-1 Thursday.

    The Diamondbacks lowered their magic number to three for clinching their second straight NL West title and third in four seasons.

    Johnson (23-5) won his fourth straight start and tied teammate Curt Schilling for the major league lead in wins.

    "He still had plenty of gas left in the tank, but with Trevor Hoffman lurking down there for the ninth inning, we figured we had only three outs to go there in the eighth,'' Brenly said, referring to the Padres' closer. "We had to hit for Randy and try to get something going.

    "He deserved to win today,'' Brenly said. "I honestly thought this was going to be a 25-24 game today. The ball was flying out of here in batting practice.''

    Brenly's projection fell several dozen runs short, though, because Johnson and Padres rookie Clay Condrey dueled through seven.

    Johnson allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, struck out nine and walked none. Condrey (1-1) allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in seven innings in his second big league start. He struck out seven and walked two.

    Johnson's September record, going back to 1993, is 27-1 in 38 appearances, including 37 starts. In his four starts this September, the four-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed only three earned runs in 32 innings (0.84 ERA) and struck out 41.

    His only mistake was leaving a 93-mph fastball over the plate that Brian Buchanan drove into the left-field seats in the second inning to tie the game at 1.

    "Clay pitched extremely well today,'' Johnson said. "I wasn't allowed to make any more mistakes after I made the one to Buchanan. I wouldn't really say that was mistake. You have to give your opponent credit.''

    The 39-year-old Johnson threw just 89 pitches.

    "They were very aggressive,'' Johnson said. "That's probably one reason why I didn't have very many pitches thrown today. That was a good thing. It was a well-pitched game by both sides. They shut down our offense and we shut down theirs, for the most part.''

    Since losing 11-9 to rookie Jake Peavy at San Diego on July 21, when he allowed eight runs and eight hits in five innings, Johnson is 10-1 in 12 starts, including two victories over the Padres at Arizona.

    "He's one of the greatest pitchers of all time,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's remarkable, at his age, what he's doing. He's probably a freak of nature.''

    The difference in this one was the Diamondbacks taking advantage of San Diego's sloppy play in the eighth.

    "That's the only reason why we're still not playing.'' Johnson said.

    The Diamondbacks scored two unearned runs on a single, a walk and two errors to break a 1-1 tie.

    Quinton McCracken, pinch-hitting for Johnson, drew a leadoff walk to chase Condrey, who was replaced by Kevin Walker. Tony Womack bunted down the third-base line and Phil Nevin went for the force at second, but his throw was short for an error, putting runners on first and second. Steve Finley singled to right to load the bases.

    Pinch-hitter Greg Colbrunn, who hit for the cycle in Wednesday night's win, hit a grounder to shortstop Deivi Cruz, whose throw home -- through the encroaching shadows -- beat McCracken by 15 feet. But rookie catcher Wil Nieves dropped the ball and McCracken was safe. Matt Williams drove in a run on a one-out grounder.

    "I was thinking double play the whole time,'' Nieves said. "It just kind of sunk at the end. It is tough to see, but I should have had it. No excuses, I just missed it.''

    Byung-Hyun Kim pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 40 chances.

    With first and third and two outs, first baseman Mark Grace robbed pinch-hitter Cesar Crespo of a hit with a backhanded dive to end the game.

    Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the first when former Padre Steve Finley doubled to right and scored on Luis Gonzalez's single to center.

    Buchanan tied it with his fifth homer with San Diego and 10th overall.

    "He didn't make many mistakes,'' Buchanan said of Johnson. "The guy is unbelievable. You have to be on top of your game to beat him and today we weren't.''

    Game notes

    The Padres fell 30½ games behind Arizona, their biggest deficit since finishing 43 games behind Atlanta in 1993, when they lost 101 games. ... Johnson improved to 11-1 lifetime against San Diego, including 4-1 this season. ... Condrey hadn't allowed a run in 14 1/3 innings over six appearances, including one start, to start his big league career before allowing the run in the first inning.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press