PHOENIX (AP) -- Randy Johnson is looking his age, and the Arizona
Diamondbacks have the worst record in the National League.
The two-time defending NL West champions never imagined their season would start so badly.
The 39-year-old Johnson allowed 10 runs in 4 2/3 innings in one
of the worst starts of his career as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the
Diamondbacks 11-7 Friday night.
"I don't expect to give up any runs, let alone 10,'' Johnson said. "So you can only imagine how I feel after walking off the mound after giving up 10 runs.''
Geoff Jenkins, in his second game back after starting the season on the disabled list with a sprained left wrist, went a career-best 5-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored for the Brewers, who have won three of four.
The 10 earned runs tied a career worst for Johnson, who was 14-0
in his previous 17 starts against Milwaukee. He gave up 11 runs, 10
earned, for Seattle in 2 1/3 innings of a 12-6 loss at Toronto on
April 10, 1994.
"I tell you, when he threw a pitch over the plate, they hit it,'' Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "I'm not sure exactly what was going on out there tonight. It was very uncharacteristic.''
Arizona fell to 2-8, matching the worst start in the franchise's
six-year history. The Diamondbacks also were 2-8 in their 1998
"It's hard to explain how you can take a guy of Randy Johnson's caliber and score as many runs as we did,'' Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "It was just our night.''
Johnson (0-2) allowed five runs in the first inning, then five
more in the fifth. He struck out four, walked two and hit a batter.
"Obviously, I wasn't fooling anybody. Obviously, I was finding the middle of the plate,'' Johnson said. "That was evident in the runs and the hits I was giving up.''
In his last three starts at Bank One Ballpark, counting last year's playoffs, Johnson has given up 21 runs, 18 earned, on 29 hits in 17 1/3 innings.
The winner of the last four NL Cy Young Awards was so irritated with the early strike zone of plate umpire Joe Brinkman that the two exchanged words as the Big Unit walked to the dugout after the top of the second inning. Catcher Chad Moeller came out of the dugout to nudge Johnson off the field.
But Jenkins laughed when asked if Johnson finally might be on the downside of his remarkable career.
"Come on now, we're talking about a Hall of Famer,'' Jenkins said. "Don't start doubting Randy. Randy's going to be there. We're talking about maybe the greatest left-hander of all time.''
Franklin held Arizona without a hit until the Diamondbacks
scored twice in the fourth on Matt Williams' RBI single and Lyle
Overbay's run-scoring double to cut Milwaukee's lead to 5-2.
But the first four batters reached base against Johnson in the
fifth. Richie Sexson singled in a run, Jenkins doubled in two, then
Perez drove in one with a single to end Johnson's night. Reliever
Oscar Villarreal came on to allow singles to Clayton and Franklin
to load the bases, then walked Alex Sanchez to make it 10-2.
Four of Milwaukee's first-inning runs came with two outs.
Sanchez doubled on the second pitch of the game, then took third
on a passed ball. Johnson hit Sexson in the foot, then Jenkins
singled in Sanchez. Jeffrey Hammonds walked on four pitches to load
Johnson fanned Helms for the second out, but Perez doubled in
two runs, then two more scored on Clayton's single.
Tony Womack, with just three hits in his first 31 at-bats this
season, tripled in two runs in a four-run seventh inning that cut
Milwaukee's lead to 11-6. Moeller added a solo homer in the ninth.
Arizona recalled RHP John Patterson from Triple-A Tucson to
be the fifth starter. His first start is Tuesday against Colorado.
... Johnson's second loss last season came on June 10. ... No
Diamondbacks starter has won a game this season. ... Franklin's
single was his first career hit.
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