SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Randy Johnson was battling the Giants, trade rumors, his own poor pitching and even his teammates. No wonder he couldn't overcome
them all and no wonder the Arizona ace was in a bad mood. Luis Gonzalez dropped Edgardo Alfonzo's bases-loaded liner to left field, allowing the
go-ahead runs to score in San Francisco's 8-3 victory over the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
Pitching back home in the Bay Area was no fun for Johnson (10-7), who had an infuriating night by several standards. He allowed six hits and three
walks in five innings, adding six strikeouts to his major league leading total of 145, but never dominating. The five-time Cy Young Award winner was
ordered to walk Barry Bonds with runners on first and second in the fifth and Alfonzo made Arizona pay with a drive that resulted in three runs on
errors by Gonzalez and Steve Finley. Johnson's frustration boiled over into a dugout confrontation with Gonzalez, though it was broken up by
teammates. The Big Unit didn't return to the game and afterward was asked about the persistent speculation linking him with the New York Yankees, who
have inquired about his availability.
"I'm not going to comment on any of that stuff,"
Johnson said. "Eventually, I will just stop talking to the press. I haven't been approached
by the Diamondbacks yet. They don't have a trade in place yet. I haven't been asked to waive my no trade clause. Don't ask again, and that's the
nicest way I will ask."
Jerome Williams (8-6) outpitched Johnson with six innings of three-hit ball. Williams also drew a walk to start San Francisco's four-run fifth. But
all eyes were on Bonds' matchup with The Big Unit. Bonds came away with an RBI single, a line-drive out — and his 68th intentional walk, which tied
his own single-season major league record. After Johnson walked Bonds, Gonzalez then got his glove on Alfonzo's drive but couldn't hang on, allowing
two runs to score. Finley picked up the ball and made a bad throw to the infield, permitting Bonds to score for a 6-3 lead.
"I walked the pitcher, and that didn't help,"
Johnson said. "That inning should have been over before anything transpired."
When the Diamondbacks got back to their dugout after the inning ended, several players could be seen scurrying quickly toward some activity in the
tunnel leading to the visiting locker room. That's where Johnson apparently confronted Gonzalez, though most teammates were tightlipped about it.
"It's not a concern,"
interim manager Al Pedrique said. "Young players have to realize everybody is competitive, everybody wants to win.
Sometimes it's good for that to happen. It depends on how you handle it."
Gonzalez said there were no lingering problems.
"Everything is over. It's fine,"
With nearly half the season still to play, Bonds tied his 2002 record with his 68th intentional walk. The Diamondbacks have walked Bonds plenty of
times during their seven years of divisional play and in an infamous episode several years ago, they gave Bonds an intentional pass with no runners on
base in a tie game. Also, former Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter once walked Bonds with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a close game.
"Now, it looks like everybody is walking him,"
San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. "They don't want to miss walking him. I like to see
him swinging the bat, but the next best thing is walking him. We'll take the walks."
Bonds drew another walk and scored on a grounder in the seventh. Neifi Perez had three hits as San Francisco won for just the second time in seven
games, moving within a half-game of Los Angeles atop the jumbled NL West. Shea Hillenbrand extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games with
a first-inning single, but Williams hit him with pitches in his next two at-bats. Hillenbrand left the game after getting plunked in the fifth.
Pedrique said Hillenbrand felt tightness in his right hamstring.