Randy Johnson Picks up Career Win #297

By  | 

Randy Johnson yielded four hits and struck out nine over seven scoreless innings in his 297th career victory, leading the surging San Francisco Giants past the Colorado Rockies 3-2 Friday night.

Johnson (2-2) struck out the first five Rockies he faced and retired the first 11 overall in his second straight dominant home start for the Giants, who moved above .500 for the first time since April 9 with their ninth win in 12 games.

San Francisco's bullpen nearly blew this one, however. Chris Iannetta homered to lead off the eighth, and Todd Helton added a run-scoring infield single before Giants closer Brian Wilson struck out Ryan Spilborghs with the bases loaded.

Wilson then pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.

Johnson has 4,819 career strikeouts after racking up his biggest total with the Giants. The 45-year-old left-hander moved within three victories of becoming the 24th pitcher in major league history with 300 wins.

The Big Unit also rebounded splendidly from his seven-walk performance in Arizona last weekend. Despite an unintimidating ERA, Johnson has been mostly solid in his five starts for San Francisco, highlighted by back-to-back home starts with seven shutout innings.

Travis Ishikawa hit an early RBI double for the Giants, while Bengie Molina and Randy Winn added sacrifice flies to give Johnson more than one run of support for the first time all season.

Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4) allowed three runs and five hits over seven mostly effective innings for the Rockies, who opened a three-game
series in San Francisco with their ninth loss in 13 games.

Heavy rain hit the Giants' waterfront ballpark in the hours leading up to game time, but it turned into a thick mist early enough to get the game underway in front of a small crowd.

The mist didn't bother Johnson a bit: The Bay Area native briskly struck out the Rockies' first five hitters and got two strikes on No. 6 hitter Troy Tulowitzki before the shortstop hit a harmless fly to right.

With two outs in the fourth, Helton worked a 3-0 count before grounding it up the middle, where second baseman Emmanuel Burriss
stopped it but had no chance. Johnson then retired five of Colorado's next six hitters.

The Rockies didn't get a runner to third base until Dexter Fowler reached it in the sixth, but Johnson got a double-play grounder from Helton. He retired the side in order in the seventh, leaving to a standing ovation.