Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 1, 13 innings
PHOENIX (AP)—Steve Finley wasn’t looking for revenge. He visited his former Arizona teammates before the game, then buried them at the end.
Finley hit a three-run double in the 13th inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-1 victory on Tuesday night.
Finley also homered off Randy Johnson as he faced Arizona for the first time since the Diamondbacks traded him on July 31.
“He could be the Cy Young Award winner,” Finley said. “I mean, when I was here there was at least five, six, seven games that he should have won that we just didn’t score any runs.”
Brian Bruney (3-4) gave up a leadoff single to Alex Cora and, one out later, walked pinch-hitter Hee Seop Choi and Cesar Izturis to load the bases. Bruney fell behind Finley 3-0, got a strike and then threw a fastball down the middle that Finley drove into the left-field gap to score all the runners.
“I wish I had an excuse or a reason,” Bruney said. “I’m just not getting it done right now. It was pretty ugly tonight.”
Johnson, 0-2 in three starts since pitching into the ninth in a 2-0 shutout win over the New York Mets on Aug. 15, struck out a season-high 15 and allowed three hits and one walk in eight innings.
He increased his major league-leading strikeouts total to 242, and left with 4,113 in his career—23 shy of tying Steve Carlton for the most by a left-hander.
Johnson had the most strikeouts since he fanned 17 against Milwaukee on Sept. 14, 2002. It was his fourth straight game with at least 10 strikeouts, his 11th this year and 202nd of his career.
Only Nolan Ryan (215) has had more games with double-digit strikeouts.
But, in what has become a team tradition, Johnson suffered from a lack of run support. The team has scored two runs or fewer 10 times in a loss by its ace, who finished the game with a major league-best ERA of 2.71.
But he was undone by one mistake—a pitch to Finley in the sixth that the former Diamondback drove 423 feet onto the concourse between decks in right-center with two outs for his 28th homer. Finley struck out in his first two at-bats against Johnson.
“He’s obviously made a huge difference already for us in a number of games, and I think he is going to continue to pay dividends for us,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
Alex Cintron tied it with a sacrifice fly in the eighth after Los Angeles starter Jeff Weaver hit pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga leading off. Tim Green, pinch-hitting for Johnson, sacrificed pinch-runner Stephen Randolph, who reached third on Quinton McCracken’s single.
Weaver matched his season high with nine strikeouts when he fanned Danny Bautista to end the rally. He also matched Johnson, giving up five hits and walking none in eight innings.
“It’s kind of unfortunate when you’ve got three outs to go and then you nick a guy to lead off an inning and they do a good job of manufacturing a run,” Weaver said. “You know it’s going to be low-scoring against Randy, so you’d better put your best foot forward.”
Johnson got the first hit off Weaver, but until the eighth, the right-hander never allowed more than one baserunner.
Johnson needed two strikeouts to reach 4,100 and got there in the first inning, when he fanned the side. Finley was his 4,100th victim.
He wasn’t available after the game, and manager Al Pedrique summarized another game Johnson could have won.
“It’s amazing what this guy has done this year,” Pedrique said. “You know, leading the league in ERA, leading baseball in strikeouts and the record 12-12. It shouldn’t be that way.”
Johnson failed to win his 100th game with the franchise in his third try since pitching into the ninth in a 2-0 shutout win over the New York Mets on Aug. 15. … He has 29 career games with at least 15 strikeouts, including 15 with that number. … Weaver has allowed three runs or fewer in 15 consecutive starts. … The crowd of 39,167 was the biggest in Phoenix since June 17, when the New York Yankees attracted 48,252. … Before the game, the Diamondbacks claimed RHP Chad Durbin off waivers from Cleveland and said he would be in the bullpen Wednesday. … Choi got to second on Bruney’s throwing error, the team’s franchise-record 108th this season.