San Francisco (12-10) at Arizona (14-11)

  • Game info: 4:40 pm EDT Sun Apr 29, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Arizona Diamondbacks were swept by the San Francisco Giants in their first series of 2007, but now they hope Randy Johnson can rebound to help them return the favor.

Johnson makes his second start of the season Sunday when the Diamondbacks host the Giants in the finale of their three-game series.

Arizona (14-11) lost a season-high five straight games from April 19-24, including three straight at San Francisco (12-10). The Diamondbacks have rebounded with four consecutive wins - three by one run - including a 5-4 victory over the Giants on Saturday.

Arizona trailed 4-1 after six innings, but a three-run pinch-hit homer from Scott Hairston fueled a four-run seventh and a come-from-behind win.

“It’s been a while since I’ve done something like that, and it feels great,” said Hairston, whose homer was his first since 2004. “Usually I take a pitch coming off the bench, but that hasn’t been working. So I just decided to switch it up and try something new, and it worked out.”

The Diamondbacks haven’t lost since Johnson (0-1, 10.80 ERA) allowed six runs and six hits, including two homers, over five innings of a 10-5 defeat to San Diego on Tuesday. The 43-year-old left-hander walked four - two intentionally - hit two batters and struck out seven in his first start since undergoing back surgery last fall.

“I thought everything went pretty well,” said Johnson, who is back in Arizona, where he won four NL Cy Young Awards from 1999-2004. “It’s not the way I would have written things up.”

Johnson, who spent the last two seasons with the New York Yankees, is 7-8 with a 3.60 ERA in 18 career starts versus the Giants, but hasn’t faced them since 2004. Arizona manager Bob Melvin said it may be a little while before Johnson returns to form.

“It might take a few turns for him to get back to the Randy we expect,” Melvin told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site. “We can up the pitch count (Sunday), and I think his command will be better. He hit a bit of a wall in the fifth last time.”

Johnson will be opposed by Matt Morris (3-0, 2.49). The right-hander allowed three runs and six hits over a season-high 7 1-3 innings in a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Morris, who threw 65 of his 96 pitches for strikes, is now trying to win his third straight road start. He is 4-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 10 career games versus Arizona, with all of those wins coming at Chase Field.

Morris will try to help the Giants avoid their third consecutive loss following a season-high eight-game winning streak.

Barry Bonds hit a two-run homer Saturday, his eighth of the season and the 742nd of his career to put him 13 behind Hank Aaron’s all-time record of 755.

“He got us on the board, but we had some other opportunities,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who plans to rest Bonds for this contest. “We need to cash in and get a hit with men on base.”

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Starting Pitchers

M. Morris PIT vs. R. Johnson SF
10-11 Record 4-3
4.89 ERA 3.81
102 K 72
61 BB 13
1.52 WHIP 1.15


Sunday, Apr 29