Diamondbacks 3, Brewers 1

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PHOENIX (AP)—Give Randy Johnson three runs, and the Arizona Diamondbacks almost always win.

Johnson struck out 10 in seven innings to earn his 15th victory Monday night and Arizona snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Ben Sheets and the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Big Unit is 12-2 with three no-decisions when the Diamondbacks score at least three runs. This on a team that has lost 109 games.

He has one more start this season, Saturday night. After that, he said, “it will be an interesting offseason.”

The 41-year-old Johnson has one year and $16 million left on his contract, but he wouldn’t speculate about what his future holds.

“I have no idea,” he said. “But as soon as they invite me to the board meeting, I’ll let you know. I’m sure they’re going to invite me in and say, `Randy, what do you think?”’

Johnson (15-14) walked one in his 13th double-digit strikeout game of the season and 204th of his career—11 shy of Nolan Ryan’s major league record. Johnson allowed one run and six hits.

“His stuff is so far above average, and that fastball is still just electric,” said the Brewers’ Chad Moeller, who used to catch Johnson in Arizona. “Stuff-wise, he can pitch as long as he wants to.”

It was the 10th consecutive game that the Diamondbacks scored three or fewer runs for the left-hander.

Chad Tracy homered and Doug DeVore had his first career three-hit game.

“It’s a great feeling to have Randy Johnson on the mound for you when you’re playing out there,” DeVore said. “Just to watch him work is awesome. You want to do everything you can to help him win. He’s unbelievable. He works harder or as hard as anybody out here.”

Johnson didn’t think he was at his best.

“Believe it or not, I was battling out there,” he said.

The game matched two of the best pitchers who play for bad teams. Johnson has a 2.65 ERA, Sheets 2.81. Johnson leads the majors in strikeouts with 282. Sheets is second in the NL with 253.

The Brewers considered moving Sheets back a day because of an infected index finger on his pitching, but the right-hander wanted to face Johnson.

Sheets (11-14) allowed three runs, one earned, and nine hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

“He just didn’t have the command of his fastball until much later in the game, but the guy has a big heart and a lot of stuff and threw a great ballgame for us still,” Moeller said. “It’s the same thing that’s going on over there with Randy. He pitches great and we don’t get him any runs.”

Sheets said the finger was no big deal, but he didn’t think he pitched well.

“When you’re facing Randy, you don’t want to struggle with your location,” Sheets said. “I was throwing strikes, just not good strikes, and that one inning they really took advantage.”

Randy Choate pitched a perfect eighth for Arizona, then Greg Aquino did the same in the ninth, with the help of a leaping grab by first baseman Shea Hillenbrand, for his 14th save in 16 tries.

Tracy led off the game with his eighth home run, down the right-field line on a 1-2 pitch.

The Brewers tied it in the second when Johnson walked Wes Helms, then Moeller ended an 0-for-13 skid with an RBI double over the head of Luis Terrero in center field.

The Diamondbacks scored two unearned runs with two outs in the third. After Alex Cintron singled, Danny Bautista hit a ground-rule double that bounced over the fence in front of the swimming pool in right-center to put runners at second and third.

Helms booted Hillenbrand’s sharp grounder for an error, allowing Cintron to score, then DeVore singled home Bautista to make it 3-1.

Chris Snyder walked to load the bases, but Terrero struck out to end the inning.

Helms led off the fifth with a triple, but failed to score when Johnson struck out Moeller and Sheets, then Scott Podsednik lined out to left.

“That just shows you how mentally tough Randy is,” Tracy said. “A man on third and nobody out, you usually chalk that one up as a run. But he came back

Notes

Retired slugger Will Clark was at the game at the request of his former agent—new Diamondbacks chairman Jeff Moorad—to take a look at the team. … Moeller still makes his offseason home in nearby Scottsdale. … Two more losses would give Arizona 111, tied for eighth-most in major league history.

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