Series: Game 4 of 4

Series tied 2-2 (as of 7/20)

Game 1: Thursday, July 17
San Diego1
Game 2: Friday, July 18
San Diego0
Game 3: Saturday, July 19
San Diego2
Game 4: Sunday, July 20
San Diego3

Diamondbacks 2

(54-44, 26-23 away)

Padres 3

(36-63, 20-31 home)

    5:00 PM ET, July 20, 2003

    Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 

    123456789 R H E
    ARI 001000010 2 5 1
    SD 00110010 - 3 8 2

    W: K. Jarvis (3-2)

    L: R. Johnson (1-3)

    S: R. Beck (10)

    D-Backs' Johnson allows two runs in six innings

    SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Randy Johnson was back on the mound and the scoreboard flashed 106 mph after he threw a fastball in the third inning.

    Whoa, some kind of a big comeback for the Big Unit?

    Nope. Just a glitch.

    The Arizona ace pitched all right in his first start in 2{ months, but his numbers more resembled an ordinary pitcher than a dominating ace as the last-place San Diego Padres beat the Diamondbacks 3-2 on Sunday.

    Out since having knee surgery on May 1, Johnson (1-3) said he exceeded his expectations by going six innings and throwing 100 pitches.

    "I was a little erratic, but for the most part I felt like I kept us in the ballgame," Johnson said.

    "Everything feels great. How it'll feel tomorrow, I don't know."

    Johnson allowed two runs -- one earned -- and six hits. He also walked two, hit two batters with pitches and was called for a balk in his first start since April 27.

    The biggest mistake by the five-time Cy Young winner was allowing a tying homer to utility infielder Lou Merloni, who was facing the big left-hander for the first time.

    "I didn't strike out 15," said Johnson, who whiffed six. "I struck out a few batters and my fastball was up there when I needed it to be and my slider was effective. I guess I made one mistake, and that was the home run. That essentially was the deciding factor of the game."

    Johnson, who made three rehabilitation starts in the minors, even poked some fun at himself.

    "My hitting's not quite there yet, but it'll come as soon as I get some more at-bats," said Johnson, who went 0-for-2, including striking out with the bases loaded to end the second.

    When the scoreboard was working, Johnson's fastball was clocked from 91 to 96 mph, and most of his strikeouts came on sliders.

    He had been on the disabled list since April 28 -- he had arthroscopic surgery three days later to remove bone chips and loose cartilage from his right knee.

    Merloni homered leading off the third inning, and the Padres went ahead 2-1 in the fourth on third baseman Shea Hillenbrand's throwing error.

    Merloni, starting at third in place of left-hander Sean Burroughs, homered into the left-field seats on a 91 mph fastball on a 1-1 count. It was Merloni's first homer in 143 at-bats, dating to Aug. 30 against Cleveland, when he was with Boston.

    "To face him for the first time was a challenge," Merloni said. "I was plenty anxious. You see him, you hear about him, but to face him live is another story. To hit a home run off him is so nice."

    Merloni hadn't started since July 9 at Arizona.

    "Lou hasn't played in a while, so it's impressive to hit a home run off Johnson," manager Bruce Bochy said.

    Johnson lost for just the second time in 13 career decisions against the Padres.

    "I thought the biggest difference was he threw a lot more sliders and not as many fastballs as normal," Padres slugger Rondell White said. "But otherwise, he had his slider working as good as ever."

    Ryan Klesko had a pinch-hit home run in the seventh off Mike Myers, his 20th of the season, and the Padres won two straight to split the four-game series.

    Arizona, which outscored San Diego 15-1 in the first two games of the series, had just five singles. Three came in the eighth when they chased Kevin Jarvis, including Hillenbrand's RBI hit. But with two outs and runners on first and third, 46-year-old Jesse Orosco got Steve Finley to fly out to left.

    Jarvis (3-2) outpitched Johnson to win his third straight start, including consecutive wins over the Diamondbacks. He allowed two runs on three hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out three and walked two.

    After allowing an RBI single to Matt Kata with none out in the third, Jarvis retired 16 straight batters until being chased by Craig Counsell's infield single.

    Rod Beck struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 10 chances.

    San Diego went ahead 2-1 in the fourth when Gary Matthews Jr. doubled to the gap in left-center with one out, then scored on Hillenbrand's error on Xavier Nady's grounder. Hillenbrand's throw to first was in the dirt. Mark Grace blocked it, but it bounced off his chest and rolled about eight feet away. Grace's throw home was too late.

    It was Hillenbrand's third error in two games.

    Klesko's homer made it 3-1.

    Game notes

    Johnson was activated from the 60-day disabled list before the game. To make room on the roster, RHP Brady Raggio was sent outright to Triple-A Tucson. ... Klekso has six career pinch-hit homers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press