for this game

Johnson outduels Matsuzaka to lift Diamondbacks

Jun 11, 2007 - 3:43 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks were on the winning end of the pitching battle between Randy Johnson and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Johnson struck out nine in six innings as the Diamondbacks avoided a sweep with a 5-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday in the finale of a three-game interleague series.

"I think what we can take out of this three-game series was that this is an extremely young team, inexperienced," Johnson said. "What we saw, and hopefully what they got out of this, is they saw the best in team in baseball and what it takes to win. You can't give them extra outs. You have to do the extra things right and they competed against a real good team."

Although he had to throw 113 pitches, there was notable one in there. Johnson's fourth-inning strikeout of Jason Varitek was the 4,612th of his career, good for second place all-time, ahead of Roger Clemens, who could trade places with Johnson now that he is part of the New York Yankees' rotation.

"To get a lot of strikeouts early in the game, your pitch total adds up really quick," said Johnson, who struck out six in the first three innings. "So as the game got a little bit deeper - third, fourth, fifth innings - I got a few more ground balls."

Johnson (4-2) gave up just one run, four hits and three walks. The 43-year-old has won four of his last five starts, giving up just five runs over 28 2/3 innings.

"He gave us six and we needed it today," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "We are a little limited down there. So RJ gave us a little bit more than we actually even needed today."

Johnson has been excellent against Boston over the past few seasons. The lefthander has an 8-1 record over his last 11 starts against the Red Sox dating to the 2005 season.

"I've pitched against the Red Sox enough to know they are pretty explosive," Johnson said. "But I had a game plan, stuck to it, and made my pitches when I had to and pitched anyway from contact when I felt it was to my best interest."

Arizona took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning when Carlos Quentin doubled in Conor Jackson, who drew a leadoff walk.

"It was good to get this one, no one wants to get swept at home," Quentin said.

The Diamondbacks broke it open in the eighth when Mike Timlin's throwing error on Quentin's bunt plated Jackson and Stephen Drew. Chris Young added an insurance run with an RBI single to give Arizona a 5-1 advantage.

"It looked like he had good command of his pitches," Quentin said. "I think we were trying to take advantage of the fact that he had a good command of the zone and try to attack him."

Matsuzaka (7-5) threw 120 pitches over six innings and struck out nine. The Japanese rookie gave up two runs, four hits and four walks.

"He pitched his heart out," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Matsuzaka. "They made him work. I thought we made Randy work - great matchup. There wasn't a lot to show for it early, they made both pitchers work pretty hard. I thought Dice-K was good. He was using all his pitches. There wasn't going to be a lot of offense early in that game, you could tell."

Matsuzaka was pleased despite the loss.

"Although the team lost, I saw some personal improvement," he said through an interpreter.

Both of the runs given up by Matsuzaka were the result of leadoff walks.

"That's seems to be the way they usually get runs off me," he said.

Arizona's Jailen Peguero and Tony Pena held Boston scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.

Matsuzaka wasn't awed by his counterpart.

"Of course, he is a great pitcher, so I wanted very much to hang on to that one-run lead that we had early," he said.

The Red Sox started the scoring in the fourth inning on Mike Lowell's RBI double.

Arizona evened the score with an RBI single by Drew in the bottom half of the inning.

Matsuzaka faced just two over the minimum in the first three innings, allowing only a double just inside the right field line to Eric Byrnes with two out in the third. Young flied out to Willy Mo Pena to end the inning.

After getting Pena to ground out and striking out Matsuzaka, Johnson got out of the fourth. He allowed a single to Kevin Youkilis in the fifth but retired the next four.

Matsuzaka struck out in his first two at-bats in the major leagues, although he tipped a 0-2 pitch in the second and then fouled one off into the first-base side stands against Johnson in the fourth.

With the loss, Boston fell to 20-4 in interleague play over the past two seasons. That's tied for the best in the majors with Detroit, which beat the New York Mets on Sunday.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 3
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 x 5 7 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, BRENDAN DONNELLY (7TH), JAVIER LOPEZ (8TH),
    MIKE TIMLIN (8TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    ARI - RANDY JOHNSON, JAILEN PEGUERO (7TH), TONY PENA
    (8TH)

    Jun 10 8:39 PM


  • ML
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS YOUNG SCORED CARLOS QUENTIN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C YOUNG ON FIRST, C SNYDER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    ARIZONA 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: O HUDSON (.292, 0-FOR-2, 2 BB)

    Red Sox vs. DiamondbacksJun 10 8:06 PM


  • ML
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MIKE TIMLIN ALLOWED CONOR JACKSON TO SCORE, ERROR
    BY MIKE TIMLIN ALLOWED STEPHEN DREW TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C QUENTIN ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    ARIZONA 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C SNYDER (.216, 0-FOR-3)

    Red Sox vs. DiamondbacksJun 10 7:59 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Chuckybaby74075 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. DiamondbacksJun 10 7:53 PM


  • ML
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS QUENTIN SCORED CONOR JACKSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C QUENTIN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    ARIZONA 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C SNYDER (.218, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. DiamondbacksJun 10 7:03 PM


  • ML
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY STEPHEN DREW SCORED ORLANDO HUDSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S DREW ON FIRST, C JACKSON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    ARIZONA 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C QUENTIN (.213, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. DiamondbacksJun 10 6:10 PM


  • ML
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LOWELL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    ARIZONA 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: W PENA (.247, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. DiamondbacksJun 10 5:52 PM