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Johnson allows just one hit in complete game

9/15/2003

PHOENIX (AP) -- Randy Johnson looked as though his recovery from knee
surgery was complete.

Johnson pitched a one-hitter for his first shutout in exactly
one year, tying a season high with 12 strikeouts to lead the
Arizona Diamondbacks over the Colorado Rockies 5-0 Sunday.

"I'd like to think that I have a lot of these games left in
me," said the five-time Cy Young Award winner, who turned 40 last
week. "It's been a long season, a very frustrating season."

Johnson (5-8) allowed just two runners -- on a fourth-inning walk
to Garrett Atkins and a fifth-inning single by Rene Reyes, who poked
a one-out grounder into right field on an 0-2 pitch.

Johnson got his first complete game since beating Colorado last
Sept. 28 and his 35th shutout, his first since Sept. 14 last year
against Milwaukee. It was his first one-hitter since July 16, 1998,
against Minnesota.

"He had it all going," manager Bob Brenly said. "Tremendous
command of all his pitches, very aggressive with his fastball,
tremendous velocity, had that back-foot slider going again, and he
was angry. Somebody must have dropped his doughnut this morning because he went out there with a little bit of attitude."

The Big Unit, 1-4 in six previous starts, looked more
comfortable than he had on the mound since the operation on
his right knee May 1. Johnson, who returned from the disabled list
July 19, also had two hits and scored the first run.

He had his 190th double-digit strikeout game, only the third
this season. Only Nolan Ryan (215) has more.

"Today, just his conviction -- the way he went at it, the way he
went after every pitch -- was unbelievable," catcher Robby Hammock
said.

Preston Wilson, who leads the major leagues with 136 RBI,
struck out three times. Colorado manager Clint Hurdle held out
left-handed sluggers Todd Helton (a .179 hitter against Johnson)
and Larry Walker (a .391 hitter against the Big Unit).

"He's had some success against him in the past, but he's played
through multiple injuries this season, and for us to make sure he
finishes the season, we need to pick our spots," Hurdle said of
Walker.

Raul Mondesi hit a two-run homer for the second straight game,
and Luis Gonzalez had a three-run double -- both during a five-run
third inning against Jason Jennings (12-13). Arizona moved within
6½ games of Florida, the NL wild-card leader, with 12 games left.

Mondesi, who was 2-for-2 with a walk, sprained his left ankle
trying to stretch a single to a double in the fourth inning and was
replaced in right field by Danny Bautista. Mondesi has 22 homers,
six since Arizona acquired him from the New York Yankees.

Jennings lost for the first time in four starts, allowing five
runs in five innings. He gave up 12 hits, matching his season high.

"One inning got out of hand, and other than that I thought the
rest was halfway decent," Jennings said.

Colorado's first runner came on Atkins' one-out walk in the
fourth. After Johnson allowed the hit to Reyes, he struck out
Charles Johnson and picked off the runner for the last out of the
inning. Johnson then retired his final 12 batters.

Game notes
Mondesi's injury was diagnosed as a mild sprain, and X-rays
were negative. He was listed as day-to-day and was to be
re-evaluated Tuesday in Los Angeles. ... As a batter, Johnson had
his seventh career two-hit game, his second this year (April 5 at
Colorado). ... Johnson also struck out 12 against the Mets on April
27.