Johnson allowed just one earned run and five hits in five innings of Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers. The victory snapped a seven-start winless streak for Johnson, who hadn’t won since his first outing of the season, a 7-0 triumph over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Johnson has been battling a blister since spring training and was forced out of Sunday’s game when it broke.
“Yeah, it broke open late in the fifth, but before that I was finally able to go all out,” said Johnson, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason after five years with the Baltimore Orioles.
“This time wasn’t as bad, and it finally gave me a chance to show why this team went out and got me.”
Johnson struck out a season-high seven, just one shy of his career-best.
“For me now, the season starts today, because I’ve struggled the last five or six starts trying to get the finger better and then getting everything in order,” he said. “I just put everything behind me.
“Forget about 1-5, forget about the ERA, and just go out there and start over. I was able to do that today.”
Johnson will square off against Seattle’s Joel Pineiro, who pulled off one of his best performances of the season in his last start, but still walked away with his fourth loss in as many decisions.
The right-hander gave up two earned runs and five hits in eight innings of a 2-1 defeat to the New York Yankees, turning in the Mariners’ first complete-game of the season.
“Joel threw a great game today,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It might have been his best of the season. You could tell his moxie was back.”
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki singled three times, giving him 2,001 career hits in nine seasons in Japan (1,278) and four with Seattle (723). The Mariners have lost 10 of their last 12 and were shut out for the fifth time this season.