Pirates 2, Diamondbacks 1
PITTSBURGH (AP)—When Randy Johnson takes the mound these days, he knows he has little room for error.
“I guess they would be considered mistakes because we lost the game because of it,” Johnson said.
Arizona has scored just three runs in Johnson’s last four starts. Johnson (12-12) was working on a one-hitter and had retired 17 consecutive batters before Wilson, who also had a one-out single in the first, led off the seventh with his 10th homer, a career best. Bay followed with his 19th homer.
“I’m not going to talk about the two pitches, because if we score early he wouldn’t be in that situation,” Diamondbacks manager Al Pedrique said.
Johnson made just 82 pitches in a three-hitter for his fourth complete game of the season, walking none and striking out 11. It was his 10th double-digit strikeout game this year and the 201st of his career, moving him within 14 of Nolan Ryan’s major league record. Johnson needs two strikeouts to reach 4,100 and 38 to tie Steve Carlton for fourth on the career list.
“It was classic Randy,” Wilson said. “He had a hard slider, throwing 94 miles an hour from the left side, and with that motion it’s not like he’s 60 feet away. It’s more like the distance for those Little League pitchers. He’s always been dominant, but he’s going to give you that one pitch to hit, and you have to hit it. I decided to guess slider for once.”
It was the 10th time this season Johnson lost when the Diamondbacks were held to two runs or fewer.
“The stuff he threw me in the seventh was as good as the pitches he threw in the first,” Bay said. “That’s why he’s one of the best pitchers in the league.”
The game took just 1 hour, 47 minutes, the fastest nine-inning game in Arizona history and the fastest for the Pirates since a game against Houston on May 3, 1991, against Houston lasted 1:45.
Josh Fogg (8-9) won for the second time in three starts, allowing one run and six hits in eight innings. He struck out four and walked none.
“I felt great out there, located the ball well,” Fogg said. “I was fortunate to get out of the first with just one run. When you’re pitching against a guy like Randy, you know runs are going to come at a premium.”
Arizona took the lead in the first inning when Quinton McCracken doubled, was sacrificed to third and scored on Shea Hillenbrand’s two-out single. But following a two-out double to Chad Tracy in the first, Fogg retired 12 of the next 13 batters before Danny Bautista doubled with one out in the sixth.
“Josh did an outstanding job for us, threw the ball extremely well,” Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Arizona had runners on second and third in the first inning before Scott Hairston’s inning-ending flyout.
“We had plenty of chances to score more, but for some reason we can’t execute when it counts,” Pedrique said. “I don’t know what to say about it anymore. To succeed at the major league level, you have to execute.”
Jose Mesa pitched the ninth inning for his 35th save in 40 chances. After Hillenbrand and Chad Tracy singled, Hairston took a called third strike, Luis Terrero singled to load the bases and pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga grounded into a game-ending double play.
McCracken helped Johnson by catching Ty Wigginton’s shot at the left-field wall leading off the fifth inning. The Pirates hit only five balls out of the infield before Wilson’s homer.
The Diamondbacks haven’t won a road series since Pedrique became manager July 2 … The starting time of the Pirates’ game Saturday against St. Louis has been moved from 7:05 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. … Pittsburgh has its third off day of the month Thursday, then plays 21 games in 20 consecutive days.