Johnson gets 20 K's, doesn't share record

Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2001

PHOENIX -- Randy Johnson got 20 strikeouts but not the glory.

Johnson became only the third pitcher to strike out 20 in nine innings but missed out on tying the record because Arizona and Cincinnati went to extra innings Tuesday night. The Diamondbacks went on beat Cincinnati 4-3 in 11 innings.

Johnson became the first left-hander to strike out 20, but didn't join Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood, who share the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

Clemens struck out 20 for Boston against Seattle on April 29, 1986, and did it again for the Red Sox at Detroit on Sept. 18, 1996. Wood struck out 20 for the Chicago Cubs against Houston on May 6, 1998.

The major league record for an extra-inning game is 21 by Tom Cheney for Washington against Baltimore in a 16-inning game on Sept. 12, 1962.

The Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician, said Johnson's performance will be considered as occurring in an extra-inning game even though he came out after nine.

Johnson threw 124 pitches, 92 for strikes, and walked none before Byung-Hyun Kim relieved to start the 10th.

Johnson struck out the side in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings, and fanned two batters in the first, second, third, fifth and eighth. He struck out only one in the sixth.

The 37-year-old pitcher, known as the ''Big Unit,'' won the last two NL Cy Young Awards and the AL Cy Young in 1995.

He had 18 strikeouts in the first eight innings, then struck out pinch-hitter Deion Sanders on three pitches leading off the ninth.

Johnson gave up a groundout to Donnie Sadler, then struck out Juan Castro swinging. The pitcher raised his right arm in celebration and tipped his cap as he walked off the field.

Bank One Ballpark put a ''K'' on the scoreboard for each strikeout, but the board ran out of room before Johnson reached 20. Additional ''Ks'' were then tacked on the side of the board, with lights forming ''20'' in the middle.

Johnson struck out Barry Larkin and Alex Ochoa three times apiece; and Castro, Pokey Reese, Chris Reitsma, Ruben Rivera, Sadler, Kelly Stinnett twice each. He fanned Aaron Boone and Sanders once.

Johnson, who struck out nine of his first 12 batters and eight of his last nine, allowed three hits.

He had a perfect game going until Boone singled with one out in the fifth. Boone stole second and scored when Rivera singled up the middle. Cincinnati's third hit off Johnson was a sixth-inning single by Sadler.

The Diamondbacks tied it on an RBI single by Reggie Sanders in the sixth off Reitsma.

Brewers 4, Cubs 1

MILWAUKEE -- Richie Sexson hit a two-run homer and rookie Ben Sheets out-dueled Kerry Wood for his third straight win as Milwaukee beat Chicago.

Sheets (3-2) allowed five hits and struck out four in seven innings. He was relieved by Chad Fox in the eighth after giving up a leadoff home run to Damon Buford, his second, that pulled the Cubs within 4-1.

Phillies 3, Astros 2

HOUSTON -- Amaury Telemaco allowed three hits in seven innings and Jimmy Rollins hit a tiebreaking single as Philadelphia won its fourth straight.

Telemaco (4-0) struck out four and walked two. Jose Mesa, Philadelphia's third pitcher, got three outs for his ninth save in 10 chances, completing a four-hitter.

Cardinals 8, Pirates 2

ST. LOUIS -- Andy Benes dominated for six innings and J.D. Drew hit a three-run homer to cap a six-run first for St. Louis.

Benes (2-2) allowed one run and two hits, lowering his ERA from 8.10 to 6.89. Four relievers completed the four-hitter.

Rockies 12, Mets 4

DENVER -- Neifi Perez went 4-for-5 and matched his career high with four RBIs as Colorado ended a three-game losing streak.

Perez had two singles, doubled and tripled to raise his batting average to .395. He is 21-for-59 since coming off the disabled list on April 24.

Marlins 7, Dodgers 6

LOS ANGELES -- Derrek Lee homered and drove in three runs and Brad Penny won his sixth straight decision for Florida.

Penny (2-0) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, handing the NL West leaders their fourth loss in five games.

Charles Johnson gave the Marlins a 7-5 lead with an RBI-single in the ninth.

Antonio Alfonseca worked the ninth for his sixth save in seven attempts, allowing Gary Sheffield's RBI-single that made it 7-6 before getting Shawn Green on a deep fly ball with two runners on. Sheffield finished 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs.

Florida opened the game with five consecutive hits against Luke Prokopec (3-1).

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