Diamondbacks 3, Brewers 2
MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Big Unit got the big hit he had been seeking for 15 seasons.
Matt Kata also homered for the Diamondbacks, but it was Johnson’s surprise shot that was the hit of the night.
“Get up, get up,” Johnson said he thought to himself after he smacked his shot in the third inning off starter Doug Davis. “I knew I hit it pretty good. I just wasn’t sure if it was high enough.”
The five-time Cy Young winner, who began this season as a .124 lifetime hitter, had gone 436 at-bats without a homer. He was able to watch his ball sail 385 feet over the left-field fence to give his club a 1-0 lead.
Davis, behind in the count, said he had no choice but to throw a strike to Johnson.
“I laid one over for him and he knew it and he took a good hack at it. I think it surprised a lot of people, including himself. Tip your hat, he got me,” Davis said.
Finley admitted he enjoyed Johnson’s homer more than his own.
“Everybody was excited. We were waiting for this day. We finally got him to crack a smile for a few minutes after he got back to the dugout,” Finley said.
Johnson, who beat the Brewers 14 consecutive games until an 11-7 loss April 11, gave up two runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out 10, his 191st game with double-digit strikeouts.
Even though he did not get the win, Johnson acknowledged he had a lot of fun because of his big hit.
“Today with the home run putting us on the board, it was pretty satisfying,” he said.
Kata tied the score 2-2 with his seventh homer in the seventh inning. Finley’s 21st homer of the season came off reliever Shane Nance (0-2) with one out in the ninth.
The winning pitcher was Oscar Villareal (9-7), who relieved Johnson in the seventh and pitched two hitless innings with three strikeouts.
Matt Mantei worked the ninth for his 26th save in 29 chances.
The Brewers also scored on a home run—Eddie Perez hit his 11th in the seventh inning for a 2-1 lead.
Brewers manager Ned Yost was impressed with Johnson’s ability to get out of jams.
“Randy Johnson is a tough pitcher. When he gets in trouble he’s doubly tough. He’s got two speeds—octane and super octane. When he gets in trouble he gears it up and just bores in on you,” Yost said.
Davis allowed two runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
The Diamondbacks, who didn’t get to their hotel rooms until 5:30 a.m. Friday after playing a night game in Los Angeles, skipped batting and fielding practice. … It was the first time the clubs met since April 11-13, when Milwaukee won two of three games in Arizona. … The Brewers activated pitcher Ruben Quevedo, who had been on the disabled list since June 27 with rightshoulder tendinitis.