Originally created 05/12/00

Pitcher is 1-1 since return



PHOENIX -- Throughout baseball, pitchers are struggling, balls are sailing out of ballparks, scores are soaring into double digits.

Then Randy Johnson took the mound against Kevin Brown, and baseball purists sighed with relief. There still is great pitching in the game.

Johnson and Brown were locked in a dramatic duel for eight innings Wednesday night before both left with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers tied 1-1. The Diamondbacks won 2-1 on consecutive singles by Andy Fox, Travis Lee and Tony Womack in the ninth off Terry Adams.

But the lasting impression was that of Johnson and Brown battling, Johnson throwing 127 pitches, Brown 118.

"They didn't let anybody down," Arizona's Luis Gonzalez said. "I think the people got their money's worth, plus the home team won and that makes it all the sweeter."

The Diamondbacks completed a 6-0 home stand with sweeps of San Diego and the Dodgers and tied a franchise record with seven victories in a row.

"In the dugout two or three times I turned to the coaches and said, `Do you know how lucky we are to be sitting here watching this?' " Arizona manager Buck Showalter said. "This is two great warrior pitchers going at it knowing that the margin for error is going to be small. The managers and coaches are just trying to keep from messing everything up."

With a no-decision in his eighth outing, Johnson's perfect start to the 2000 season ended, but he's still 7-0 with a 0.95 ERA.

"My whole objective when I go out every fifth day is to pitch a quality start," Johnson said, "and I felt that both pitchers did that."

Johnson allowed one run on a season-high eight hits but struck out 13 and walked only one. It was the seventh time in eight starts he struck out at least 10. Johnson increased his strikeout total to 2,781, passing Frank Tanana for 15th on the career list.

Brown allowed one run and six hits, struck out six and walked three. In four starts since coming back from a broken finger, Brown has allowed four earned runs but is only 1-1.

"It was a well-pitched game," Dodgers manager Davey Johnson said, "One of those that nobody needs to lose."

Sidearm reliever Byung-Hyun Kim (1-1) gave up a hit and committed an error in the ninth but struck out three to get the victory. Seventeen of the last 19 outs Kim has recorded have been by strikeouts.

"BK is amazing," Johnson said. "Maybe he can help me with my submarine slider."

The Dodgers nursed a 1-0 lead on Todd Hundley's second-inning homer until Arizona tied it in the seventh.

Brown retired the first two batters and had an 0-2 count on Jay Bell but walked him. Gonzalez, who was 3-for-3, followed with an RBI double.

"I'm not sure it was that bad a pitch," Brown said, "but I walked the guy in front of him after I had two strikes to set it up."

Gonzalez, who was 7-for-13 in the series, said he's beginning to see the ball the way he did last season, when he led the NL in hits.

"When I start hitting the ball up the middle the other way I know my swing's coming around," he said. "I'm trying to get back to my swing from last year."

Shawn Green, who bats left-handed, was 3-for-4. Going in, lefties were 2-for-25 against Johnson this season.