Randy Johnson eluded a flying bat, and then avoided an even greater danger watching from the bench as the Arizona bullpen finally managed to protect a lead.
Johnson struck out 13 while allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings, and the Diamondbacks defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-2 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Johnson (14-2) heads into the All-Star break leading the NL in wins, ERA (1.80) and strikeouts (198). It is the best pre-break record of his career, topping the 12-2 mark and 2.20 ERA in 1997.
Johnson, 21-3 in his last 31 regular-season starts, recorded his 13th game with 10 or more strikeouts this year. He has 138 such games overall, trailing only Nolan Ryan's 215.
In the second inning, Ben Grieve's bat shattered as he grounded to second. The barrel of the bat flew close to Johnson, causing the lanky pitcher to flinch.
By pitching seven innings, Johnson took some of the pressure off the beleaguered Arizona bullpen. The Diamondbacks blew saves the previous two nights, losing the first two games of the series in extra innings. Arizona blew a 7-2 eighth-inning lead on Saturday.
Steve Finley, named an injury replacement to the NL All-Star team earlier in the day, led off the seventh with his 25th homer. The Diamondbacks scored two in the second on an RBI double by Travis Lee and a run-scoring single by Tony Womack.
Gil Heredia (9-7), who allowed four runs on 11 hits in six innings, lost his third straight decision for Oakland - which heads into the All-Star break having lost eight of 11.
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