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Archive for Thursday, September 7, 2006

Big Unit stymies Royals

September 7, 2006

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— Randy Johnson will turn 43 before his next start. The Big Unit threw 42 an impressive going-away party.

Johnson took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, and Jorge Posada backed him with a pair of three-run homers in the New York Yankees' 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

"It's remarkable, it really is," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "For power pitchers to pitch into their 40s - Roger (Clemens) did it, Nolan (Ryan) did it, (Steve) Carlton tried to do it - it's certainly not something that comes down the pipe all the time."

Johnson (16-10) didn't give up a hit until David DeJesus tripled to deep left-center leading off the seventh inning. Center fielder Johnny Damon slid to keep the ball from going by him, but came up well short.

"I was trying to get there," Damon said. "I kind of stabbed my glove, because I knew as soon as it hit the ground it was going to take off. I was just hoping to stop it, but I saw the replay and it was 10 to 12 feet."

Earlier Wednesday, Florida's Anibal Sanchez pitched a no-hitter against Arizona, the first no-hitter in the major leagues since Johnson's perfect game for Arizona at Atlanta on May 18, 2004.

"I was coming up here between innings when I saw it," Johnson said. "Congratulations to him."

Johnson, 5-1 in his last six starts, allowed just the one hit and struck out eight in seven shutout innings, walking two. He had faced the minimum 18 batters before the triple - he walked Emil Brown in the second, but Ryan Shealy grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"I warmed up good, and the slider was probably my best pitch tonight," Johnson said. "I was able to locate my fastball a couple of pitches up and away, and then I had good defense. Jorgie called a great game and then did everything by himself pretty much, offensively."

After his triple, DeJesus was picked off third by Posada.

"I was just too aggressive when my run didn't matter at all," DeJesus said. "It was one of those things where it was a stupid mistake by me. I take full blame for it."

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