Johnson picks up 4,000th strikeout

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Randy Johnson walked off the mound after striking out his 4,000th batter, and waved his cap to the cheering Arizona Diamondbacks fans.

The Big Unit only wished he could've been in a more celebratory mood.

Johnson struck out eight to become the fourth pitcher to fan 4,000, but the Diamondbacks lost their franchise-record 11th straight game, 3-2 to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.

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''I just really wanted to enjoy this as much as I did the (perfect) game in Atlanta, but it's very hard to enjoy something when you lose a ballgame,'' Johnson said. ''Because that's all I live for now.''

Johnson (9-6) fanned Jeff Cirillo - his eighth strikeout of the game - for the second out of the eighth inning, reaching 4,000 faster than anyone. Johnson, whose 196 double-digit strikeout games are second only to Nolan Ryan's 215, allowed three runs on four hits in eight innings.

He joined Ryan (5,714), Roger Clemens (4,200) and Steve Carlton (4,136) as the only pitchers to strike out 4,000.

''Those are three of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game, and Randy's right there with them - right where he belongs,'' Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said.

Khalil Greene homered off Johnson with one out in the eighth, providing the winning margin for the Padres, who won for the seventh time in eight games.

''We were looking for a win and the 4,000 strikeouts, so we could celebrate,'' Arizona second baseman Roberto Alomar said. ''But you stop celebrating when you're losing.''

After Greene's solo homer made it 3-1, Terrence Long doubled. Johnson then threw three sliders to Cirillo to reach a 2-1 count before blowing a fastball by him to make it 2-2. After missing with a slider to run the count full, Johnson threw an 87 mph slider low on the outside corner as Cirillo took a half-swing for the milestone strikeout.

Long was thrown out by catcher Robby Hammock attempting to steal third on the play to end the inning - and Johnson's night.

Brian Sweeney (1-0) held the Diamondbacks to one run on four hits and a walk in 5 1-3 innings in his first major league start after seven relief appearances.

Arizona closed within a run on Danny Bautista's solo homer in the eighth, but the Diamondbacks stranded 10 runners, leaving the bases loaded in the sixth and eighth.

Trevor Hoffman worked the ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances.

''I'm just glad we won the game,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. ''You see history like that, I'm a fan. To see one of the greatest pitchers of all time get 4,000 strikeouts, it is a privilege.''

Pirates 3, Cardinals 0

At Pittsburgh, rookie left-hander Sean Burnett shut out St. Louis for six innings in his first major league victory, and Tike Redman drove in two runs.

Burnett (1-2) outpitched Chris Carpenter (8-3), and the Pirates matched a season high with their fourth straight victory.

Phillies 17, Expos 7

At Philadelphia, Bobby Abreu and David Bell homered and drove in three runs apiece, and the Phillies got 17 hits.

Jimmy Rollins also had three RBIs, Placido Polanco homered and scored twice, and pinch-hitter Tomas Perez added a two-run shot in the eighth. Bell, who hit for the cycle Monday, scored three runs and had an RBI single in the third.

Eric Milton (10-2) allowed seven runs on seven hits in five innings, but moved into a tie for the major league lead in wins.

Marlins 5, Braves 4

At Atlanta, Mike Lowell and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back homers, Josias Manzanillo (1-1) pitched a season-high 2 2-3 innings for his first win in about 2 1/2 years.

Cubs 7, Astros 5

At Chicago, Craig Biggio dropped Moises Alou's flyball, allowing two runs to score in the seventh inning.

After Carlos Beltran put Houston ahead 5-4 in the top of the seventh, Chicago came back against David Weathers (5-4) and Dan Miceli, who retired Sammy Sosa before Biggio's error.

Brewers 6, Rockies 3

At Denver, Chad Moeller hit his first career grand slam, and Chris Capuano (3-3) pitched six strong innings for Milwaukee, which ended a nine-game losing streak in Colorado.

Dodgers 2, Giants 1

At Los Angeles, Jayson Werth tied it with a homer and scored the winning run on Paul Lo Duca's eighth-inning single.

Guillermo Mota (4-3) earned the win, and Eric Gagne got three outs for his 19th save, extending his major league record streak for consecutive saves to 82.