|Randy Johnson's 4,673d career strikeout came in the first inning and left him behind only Nolan Ryan. (Darren Hauck/Associated Press)|
It might be a little while before Pedro Martínez returns to his dominant old self. He took a big first step just by getting back on the mound, then went out and won.
The 36-year-old Martinez came off the disabled list to make his second start of 2008 for the Mets last night, leading visiting New York to a 9-6 victory over the San Francisco Giants more than two months after leaving his first start of the year with a hamstring injury.
Martínez (1-0) even hit a pair of singles and drove in a run to help his cause and boost his line: 6 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts on 109 pitches.
His two hits matched his career high, the third time he's done it and the first since Aug. 3, 1997, against San Diego while with Montreal.
Damion Easley hit a three-run double in his second plate appearance during New York's eight-run fifth, New York's most productive inning since getting 11 in the sixth against the Cubs on July 16, 2006.
The Giants' Travis Denker hit his first career home run with a three-run shot in the ninth off Scott Schoeneweis. Billy Wagner relieved and recorded the final two outs for his 12th save in 14 chances.
San Francisco starter Barry Zito (1-9) allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked five and struck out one.
Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 1 - Arizona's Randy Johnson took over sole possession of second place on baseball's career strikeout list in the first inning, but Ryan Braun powered host Milwaukee with a two-run homer.
Johnson (4-2) broke a tie with Roger Clemens by fanning Mike Cameron for his 4,673d strikeout, still far behind Nolan Ryan's 5,714. Johnson had given up only three hits through five when he walked Cameron to lead off the sixth. Braun then clobbered an 0-1 pitch deep to left, putting the Brewers ahead, 2-1, with his 16th homer of the season.
Rockies 3, Dodgers 0 - Jeff Francis (2-5) pitched seven shutout innings, and Colorado snapped an eight-game losing streak with a road win that was punctuated by a bench-clearing brawl.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp struck out on a pitch in the dirt from Taylor Buchholz for the third out in the bottom of the eighth, and the ball rolled a few feet to the right of catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who accidentally made contact with Kemp from behind before picking up the ball and tagging him lightly in the chest.
The frustrated Kemp then shoved Torrealba - who retaliated by shoving Kemp in the face with both hands. In no time, they were wrestling on the infield grass as both benches and bullpens emptied. Order was quickly restored without further incidents.
Cubs 9, Padres 6 - Alfonso Soriano slugged a three-run homer, and visiting Chicago pounded San Diego for its ninth consecutive victory.
Geovany Soto's leadoff homer in the sixth put the Cubs ahead, 4-3. Two batters later, Mark DeRosa hit a two-run homer. Both drives came off Bryan Corey (1-1).
Braves 5, Marlins 4 - Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer and Greg Norton came through with a two-run double in the eighth that gave host Atlanta another come-from-behind victory over slumping Florida.
Jones hit his 399th career homer in the first, giving Atlanta a quick 3-1 lead, and finished 2 for 4 to push his average from .407 to .409.
Rangers 12, Indians 7 - Josh Hamilton homered in his fourth straight game and Milton Bradley followed with another homer in the first for host Texas, which held off a late Cleveland rally.
Angels 5, Mariners 4 - Joe Saunders (9-2) allowed one earned run in seven innings to become the AL's first nine-game winner and Maicer Izturis drove in three runs for visiting Los Angeles.
White Sox 9, Royals 5 - Carlos Quentin, A.J. Pierzynski, Nick Swisher, and Alexei Ramirez homered to power host Chicago past Kansas City.
Orioles 5, Twins 3 - At Minneapolis, Kevin Millar and Melvin Mora went deep for Baltimore in support of Radhames Liz, who allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his 2008 debut.
Astros 2, Pirates 0 - Lance Berkman and Miguel Tejada doubled in runs, Wandy Rodriguez (2-1) pitched six shutout innings in his second start after coming off the disabled list, and Houston ended a five-game losing streak by winning in Pittsburgh.
Phillies 3, Reds 2 - Pat Burrell hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth for Philadelphia, and Adam Eaton (2-3) silenced Cincinnati over 6 2/3 impressive innings.
Cardinals 6, Nationals 1 - Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer in the first, then St. Louis waited out more than 2 1/2 hours of rain delays before finishing off host Washington.