Randy Johnson moved one step away from joining the 300-win club by recording his 299th victory on Wednesday as the San Francisco Giants beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3. The five-times Cy Young Award winner allowed one run over six innings and struck out five while increasing his career strikeout total to 4,843, the second most in Major League Baseball. The veteran left-hander retired 15 of the first 16 hitters he faced for his first win since May 11.
He will likely go for his 300th win next week on the road against the Washington Nationals. "I would love to do it here in San Francisco, that would make it a little easier for my family and friends," Johnson said. "But I'm grateful to be in this position. It took a lot of work." San Francisco outfielder Aaron Rowand led the offense by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs to extend his season-high hitting streak to eight games and help the Giants earn their first series sweep of the season.
San Francisco (23-23) scored two runs in the sixth and seventh off RBI singles from Nate Schierholtz, Emmanuel Burriss and Andres Torres, while relievers Merkin Valdez and Brian Wilson pitched the final two innings for the team's fourth win in five. Atlanta (23-23) had swept a three-game interleague series with the Toronto Blue Jays before losing their latest three-game set. Pinch-hitter Garret Anderson had a two-run single in the seventh to pull the Braves to within 4-3 but they could rally no further and collected just five hits for the game. Slugger Chipper Jones was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
Japanese rookie pitcher Kenshin Kawakami was charged with the loss, having surrendered nine hits and four runs over 5 2/3 innings. * Reuters