for this game

Johnson strikes out 10, wins second straight start

May 20, 2007 - 10:04 PM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Randy Johnson appears to be settling into a groove.

The 43-year-old lefthander struck out a season-high 10 in 5 2/3 innings and Chris Snyder went 3-for-4 with three RBI as the Arizona Diamondbacks posted a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday in the rubber game of their series.

The win comes a day after the Diamondbacks rallied from a 7-1 deficit for a 9-8 victory.

Acquired in the offseason from the New York Yankees after undergoing back surgery, Johnson (2-2) started 0-2 with two no-decisions in his first four starts, allowing 16 earned runs in 24 innings.

But last Tuesday, Johnson yielded just one hit and struck out nine in six innings in a 3-0 victory at Colorado.

"I'm coming back from surgery, so physically the demands on my back aren't what I put on them in the weight room," Johnson said. "There's going to be good games, there's going to be bad games. Inevitably, you know, in Colorado I didn't feel good at all. And up to this point, it's been my best start of the year. I've learned to pitch a little bit more under those circumstances."

Johnson again lasted into the sixth inning and allowed two runs and seven hits. His 10 strikeouts raised his season total to 47 in 35 2/3 innings.

"He (Johnson) was pretty darn good," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "The last three times out, the velocity has been there. He hit 96 today (Sunday) and had a great slider. He just got his pitch count up there, around 100. But he keeps getting better and better.

"It looks like early on, this time, he was into the flow quicker than in the last couple times since his first start, when he kind of eased his way with the velocity climb. You saw it right away today, and that's a good sign."

Johnson is 30th all-time with 282 career wins, one behind Jim Kaat. He also ranks third all-time on the strikeouts list with 4,591, behind only Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Roger Clemens (4,604).

Tony Pena, Brandon Lyon and Jose Valverde combined to pitch 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 18 opportunities.

Snyder provided the big blow with a three-run double in the fourth inning, opening a 5-1 lead for the Diamondbacks, who completed a 5-4 road trip.

"It (the double) felt good," Snyder said. "It was a first-pitch fastball, and I've left a small village out there lately, so it's good to finally come through one time and be productive."

Xavier Nady drove in two runs for the Pirates, who ended a 4-6 homestand.

"I've just been trying to have good at-bats, and obviously work the count and get good pitches and have a plan up there," Nady said. "And if you continue to take that approach, hopefully you make good contact and get your hits."

Paul Maholm (2-6) lost for the fourth time in his last five starts, allowing five runs - four earned - and eight hits in five innings.

Pittsburgh scored its first run off Johnson in the first inning. Jose Bautista singled with one out, stole second and scored on a two-out double by Nady.

The Diamondbacks took the lead with two runs in the third inning. Carlos Quentin and Snyder led off with singles and advanced on a passed ball by Ronny Paulino. After Johnson struck out, Stephen Drew delivered a sacrifice fly and Conor Jackson plated Snyder with a single.

Maholm gave up a leadoff double in the fourth inning to Eric Byrnes, but caught a break when Byrnes was nailed trying to steal third. Mark Reynolds, who hit his first major league homer in Saturday's win, followed with a single and Maholm walked Scott Hairston and Quentin to load the bases before Snyder delivered his double to center field.

"I think the only ball they hit hard was the double that cleared the bases," Maholm said. "That was my fault. It wasn't an aggressive pitch, it was just one to get ahead. I walked two guys and gave up the base hit, that's all on me."

"(Maholm) He had situations today where he got himself into counts he wanted to but had difficulty making the pitch to put hitters away," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "The fourth inning is a reflection of that."

The combination of Bautista and Nady again accounted for Pittsburgh's second run. Bautista led off the sixth inning with a double and, after Jason Bay struck out, Nady came through with an RBI single to center. Ryan Doumit followed with a single, but Johnson struck out Adam LaRoche.

Melvin then lifted Johnson in favor of Pena, who retired Paulino on a flyout to center.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ARIZONA 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 9 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ARI - RANDY JOHNSON, TONY PENA (6TH), BRANDON LYON (8TH), JOSE
    VALVERDE (9TH) AND CHRIS SNYDER
    PIT - PAUL MAHOLM, JONAH BAYLISS (6TH), DAMASO MARTE
    (8TH) AND RONNY

    May 20 4:11 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY XAVIER NADY SCORED JOSE BAUTISTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, X NADY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 5
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R DOUMIT (.365, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesMay 20 3:15 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHRIS SNYDER SCORED MARK REYNOLDS, SCOTT HAIRSTON
    AND CARLOS QUENTIN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C SNYDER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 5
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: RA JOHNSON (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesMay 20 2:33 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CONOR JACKSON SCORED CHRIS SNYDER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C JACKSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: O HUDSON (.289, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesMay 20 2:15 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY STEPHEN DREW SCORED CARLOS QUENTIN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C SNYDER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C JACKSON (.229, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesMay 20 2:13 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY XAVIER NADY SCORED JOSE BAUTISTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, X NADY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R DOUMIT (.375, 3 HR, 12 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesMay 20 1:51 PM