Not so perfect; but Unit wins again
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"I was just going out there and keeping us in the ballgame," Johnson said. "I didn't care whether I threw a perfect game in Atlanta, so I'm sure I didn't care if I threw a perfect game out there today."
The 40-year-old Johnson became the oldest pitcher to ever throw a perfect game and the first since New York
The five-time Cy Young Award winner improved to 7-1 in 11 career starts against Florida. He has also struck out 100 hitters in just 78 innings versus the
"It's pretty tough to compare to his last outing, but he (Johnson) was good enough to win today," Arizona manager Bob Brenly. That's all we needed."
Earlier in the day, Arizona placed first baseman
"It's all for naught," Conine said. "We battled one of the best pitchers in the history of the game. We had a couple of chances, but it didn't work out."
Trailing by a 1-0 score, Arizona plated four runs in the fifth to claim a three-run lead. After Willis retired the first two hitters,
"For four innings, he (Willis) was pretty good," said Florida manager Jack McKeon. "Then he went to pieces."
Conine brought Florida within 4-2 with his solo homer with two outs in the sixth. It was his third home run of the season.
Despite the shaky ninth, Valverde picked up his third save of the season.
Johnson's string of perfect innings came to a close in the third as Nunez led off with a double, ending a span of 39 consecutive batters retired by the imposing lefthander. After
The third-inning run snapped Johnson's string of 17 2/3 scoreless frames.
The major league record for consecutive batters retired is 41, set by San Francisco's Jim Barr from August 23-29, 1972. Nunez's single was the first baserunner allowed by Johnson since