Tigers 2, Diamondbacks 1
Johnson allowed one hit in eight sharp innings, and the Detroit Tigers sent the Diamondbacks to their season-high seventh straight loss with a 2-1 victory Friday night.
The game was completed in 1 hour, 54 minutes, matching the shortest in the majors. The Chicago White Sox and Montreal played their game in 1:54 on last Sunday. It also tied for the shortest in Diamondbacks’ history.
“It felt all right,” Johnson said. “Everything felt pretty good. I tried to work quick and go right at them.”
Johnson (5-7) set down the first 12 in order before Luis Gonzalez’s triple to lead off the fifth inning. He struck out five and walked one in his first win since June 2.
“Johnson pitched a great game,” said Gonzalez, who also drew the walk off Johnson. “He got ahead and threw his pitches for strikes. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
Johnson outdueled Brandon Webb (3-8), who allowed a career-low four hits in his first complete game of the season and second of his career. Webb struck out four and walked two.
“I’m going to tell you right now that guy has some quality major league pitches,” Detroit’s Craig Monroe said of Webb. “The ball’s got a lot of movement and it made it difficult to hit today. But we were fortunate to scratch out some runs early in the game—and we needed them.”
Ugueth Urbina pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities to complete the one-hitter.
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Omar Infante’s RBI grounder.
Carlos Pena led off with a single, and Monroe walked and Brandon Inge sacrificed the runners over. Infante then hit the grounder that Alex Cintron bobbled, but recovered in time to get him at first while Pena scored, and Shea Hillenbrand threw to third to get Monroe to end the inning. Infante was credited with an RBI.
“We were going on contact there and Carlos really got a tremendous break and I think that put a little pressure,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “It was an in-between hop that he had to go for—wasn’t able to quite come up with. That’s what pressure does to you.”
The Diamondbacks had a chance to double Sanchez off after he took off for second on Bobby Higginson’s fly to right. Sanchez was all the way to second, but Danny Bautista’s throw from the right-field corner was over the head of Hillenbrand at first and Sanchez beat the relay.
“I haven’t talked to Danny yet. I’m not sure what the circumstances were,” Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. “But he had a lot more time than he thought. He had to run a long way to catch it and you don’t know how things looked to him from the right-field corner.”
Arizona tied it in the fifth when Gonzalez hit the leadoff triple and scoredon Hillenbrand’s grounder.
Arizona also played in 1:54 on July 23, 1998, at San Siego. … Arizona’s Roberto Alomar started his first game since missing 56 games with a broken finger, and went 0-for-4. … Sanchez walked for only the sixth time this season in 281 plate appearances. … Rodriguez has 44 hits in his last 93 at-bats. … Tigers SS Carlos Guillen broke an 0-for 16 slump with a single inthe seventh.