The future Hall of Famer will try to beat the A’s again in Wednesday night’s finale of a three-game set in Oakland and help the Giants win both series this season against their interleague rivals.
In a 5-1 victory June 4 at Washington, Johnson (6-5, 5.00 ERA) became the 24th member of the 300-win club and sixth left-handed pitcher to reach that mark. However, he has one quality start in his three outings since then, allowing two runs over seven innings in a 5-2 victory June 13 over Oakland at home.
With his 301st career win, Johnson avoided a third straight loss to the A’s and improved to 14-9 in his career against them.
In his most recent start, though, he couldn’t hold on to a two-run lead Friday night to visiting Texas and allowed three runs in the sixth inning before being lifted with two outs. He didn’t factor in the decision in the Giants’ 6-4 comeback win.
“I was more disappointed with coming out,” Johnson told the team’s official Web site about his 600th career start. “(The game) was hanging in the balance there.”
After dropping 10 of its previous 11 to the A’s, San Francisco has won six of the last seven meetings, and its pitchers have played a critical role in that stretch.
The Giants (38-32) have posted a 1.45 ERA in their last seven games against Oakland and evened this series thanks to another dominant performance from reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum(notes).
Lincecum struck out 12 in Tuesday night’s 4-1 win and recorded his second complete game in three outings - both against Oakland.
Oakland (31-39) had won four of six but went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. The A’s have hit an AL-worst .236 this season, and their .250 average with runners in scoring position ranks ahead of only the Chicago White Sox (.246) and Seattle (.231) in the league.
“We had our opportunities this time and couldn’t get the key hit,” manager Bob Geren said.
Geren lost his original scheduled starter for Wednesday, left-hander Josh Outman(notes), after he left with tightness in his throwing arm in the second inning of Friday night’s 7-5 win in San Diego. Outman was place on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sprained elbow.
Gio Gonzalez(notes) (0-0, 7.27) was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to make his first start this season and eighth of his career. The left-hander, who was brought up twice last month and made one relief appearance each time, was 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA this season for the team’s nearby affiliate.
Gonzalez, who has never faced San Francisco, was 1-4 with a 7.68 ERA in 10 appearances - seven starts - last season.