He didn't get a decision, though.
With closer Trevor Hoffman unavailable after pitching in four of the previous five games, Akinori Otsuka blew a one-run lead in the ninth. Terrence Long then homered with one out in the bottom of the inning to give the San Diego Padres a 4-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
"It was a battle of the 40-year-olds and nobody won," Wells
said after the matchup between left-handers who've thrown perfect
games. "We both got no-decisions, but still it was a great-pitched
game. You're always going to expect a good one out of Randy."
Wells has gotten terrible run support in his first season
pitching for his hometown team, and has three no-decisions and
three losses in his last six starts. His ERA is 3.01.
"Runs have been scarce," Wells said. "They got me three runs
tonight and I figured that would be enough. Any win's a good win,
and Terrence got a good pitch to handle, and if you hit it down the
line, the ball's going to go. He hit the foul pole, and that's a
blessing in disguise right there."
Long drove a 1-2 curveball from Elmer Dessens (1-5) off the
right-field foul pole, his first homer of the year.
Wells left in the seventh with a 3-1 lead but the Diamondbacks
added a run that inning and then tied the game in ninth on Alex
Cintron's single as Otsuka (5-2) blew a save chance. Arizona, which
lost its season-high sixth straight game, had three singles off
Otsuka in the ninth.
Wells stayed in the game after getting hit on the left forearm
by a pitch from Johnson with one out in the seventh. Wells threw
his bat down and grimaced as he jogged to first base, shaking his
arm. He said he's OK.
"I tell you what, if I face him again, I'll go right-handed,
because it's not fun from the left side," Wells said. "But I
think I looked a little bit better than John Kruk."
During the 1993 All-Star Game, Johnson winged a pitch over
Kruk's head. Kruk lightly patted his chest over his heart before
stepping back into the batter's box and striking out, futility
flailing at three pitches.
"I thought he swung," Johnson said. "Obviously, I'm not
trying to hit him, no disrespect to him. I could have thrown the
rosin bag up there and I think he would have swung at it."
Wells allowed a leadoff double in the eighth by Greg Colbrunn,
who was pinch-hitting for Johnson, and made way for Scott Linebrink. Colbrunn scored on Scott Hairston's groundout and Steve Finley doubled for his third hit.
Finley tried to score on Danny Bautista's single to center, but
rookie catcher Humberto Quintero held onto Jay Payton's one-hop
throw and kicked Finley away from home plate with his left foot and
made the tag for the third out.
Johnson failed to become the first 10-game winner in the majors,
leaving after seven innings and getting his first no-decision in a
span of 14 starts. He allowed three runs and seven hits, and struck
out eight -- leaving him eight short of 4,000. He also walked one
and hit two batters.
"It's disappointing," Johnson said. "When I'm out there
pitching, I want to put this team on my shoulders. That's my
responsibility. It's what I'm about. I didn't get it done. I take
the blame for that."
Wells allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings, struck
out two and walked none.
It was the eighth time pitchers who've thrown perfect games have
opposed each other. Johnson, 40, threw his perfect game seven
starts earlier, on May 18 at Atlanta. Wells, 41, threw his at
Yankee Stadium against Minnesota on May 17, 1998.
Quintero, called up from Triple-A on Monday after Ramon Hernandez went on the disabled list, hit a bases-loaded blooper with two outs in the sixth that landed just inside the right-field line and in between three converging Diamondbacks.
Johnson hit Sean Burroughs and allowed a single to Jeff Cirillo
opening the sixth before Burroughs was thrown out trying to score
on Payton's grounder. Phil Nevin walked to load the bases and
Brian Buchanan struck out to bring up Quintero, who made his big
league debut with the Padres during a September callup.
The Padres swept the three-game series from the Diamondbacks,
who lost their season-high sixth straight.
Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the third when Robby Hammock tripled
and scored on Hairston's double.
Wells has pitched in four matchups of perfect-game
pitchers, facing Kenny Rogers twice in 2001 and once in 2000. ...
Johnson singled up the middle off Wells leading off the sixth, but
was erased in a double play. ... San Diego finished the homestand
4-5. ... Otsuka has blown two saves in four chances.