Johnson pitched eight solid innings to help Detroit to an 8-2 victory over San Francisco on Saturday. He allowed nine hits and walked three but rarely faced trouble after allowing two runs in the first inning thanks to his own throwing error.
The 32-year-old right-hander, whose previous outing on June 14 was shortened by rain, has pitched at least eight innings six times in his last seven full starts, going 3-3 with a 2.54 ERA in that span.
“My arm feels really good this year, and I’m confident throwing everything in my repertoire,” said Johnson, who has won three of his last four decisions.
“The way we’re pitching into the seventh inning every night with our starters is terrific, and it’s going to help us win more ballgames.”
Nate Robertson threw Detroit’s second complete game in a row, and Omar Infante homered and had three RBIs to lead the surging Tigers to an 8-1 win over the slumping Twins on Wednesday. Jeremy Bonderman also threw a complete game in a 7-2 win Tuesday for the Tigers, who have won seven of their last eight.
“This is by far the best run of the year,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “I’m enjoying watching these guys play.”
Minnesota lost its season-high fourth straight game, scoring just six runs in that span.
“Offensively, they haven’t been scoring,” Trammell said. “Maybe we’re catching them at a good time, but that’s part of the game and that can change anytime.”
With no production at the plate, and not much more from their starting pitching, the three-time defending AL Central champions have fallen 10 games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
The Twins haven’t trailed by 10 in the Central since they finished the 2000 season in fifth place, 26 games behind Chicago.