Youngster Webb, ace Johnson stymie Mets


NEW YORK (AP) -- With Randy Johnson back throwing strikes, the
Arizona Diamondbacks are starting to look a winning team again.

Johnson came off the disabled list to strike out 12 and earn his
first win of the season, leading Arizona to a 7-3 victory over the
New York Mets and a sweep of a doubleheader Sunday.

Brandon Webb struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings of his
first major league start and Craig Counsell tied his career high
with four RBI as the Diamondbacks won the opener 6-1.

"That's more like what we're accustomed to doing here,''
manager Bob Brenly said.

The Mets committed eight errors and struck out a majors-record 27 times on the day. They were swept by the
Diamondbacks in a doubleheader at home for the second straight

"It wasn't a good day on the ballfield for us and I'm glad it's
over,'' Mets manager Art Howe said.

The Diamondbacks matched their longest winning streak of the
season (two games) with the sweep and finished their road trip 5-4.
The two-time defending NL West champions still headed home tied for
last place at 10-15, but things are looking up now that the Big
Unit is back.

Johnson (1-2), the winner of the last four NL Cy Young Awards,
missed his previous two starts with inflammation in his right knee
and had an 8.31 ERA in his first three games of the season.

"I'd been lacking a little mound presence,'' Johnson said.
"Today, I had that a bit. Today was obviously encouraging.''

Johnson was far from his dominating self despite his 188th
career double-digit strikeout game. He allowed nine hits in six
innings but held New York to two runs. He said his knee felt fine.

"Overall, I was very pleased with the way I went out and
pitched today,'' Johnson said. "Obviously, I feel like I have a
long way to go. My slider was not as good as it could have been.
That's because it's been a long time since I've been out there.''

Mark Grace drove in four runs in the second game, including a
two-run homer off closer Armando Benitez in the ninth.

Webb (1-0) got Arizona started, making the most of his brief
stay in the majors. He allowed three hits, one walk and only four
balls to reach the outfield.

For his reward, Webb was optioned back to Triple-A Tucson
between games to make room for Johnson.

"Of course I'm disappointed,'' said Webb, who pitched one
hitless inning in his debut Tuesday against Montreal. "But it's a
numbers issue now because we have to get Randy off the DL, and
someone has to go down.''

Matt Williams, who entered in an 0-for-20 slump, homered and
Arizona took advantage of three errors to hand Tom Glavine (3-2)
his first loss since opening day.

Webb, an eighth-round draft pick out of Kentucky in 2000, showed
no signs of nerves despite having to wait an extra day because of
Saturday's rainout. He was extremely efficient, retiring the first
10 batters, including six on strikeouts. He threw only 99 pitches.

"We've been hearing about Brandon Webb for a long time in this
organization,'' Brenly said. "I don't think anyone in his wildest
dreams thought he'd go out and do what he did today. There's not
much more he could have done. He was spectacular.''

Webb allowed consecutive singles with one out in the fourth
before recovering to get Mike Piazza to hit into an inning-ending
double play.

Webb wasn't threatened again but still will go back to the

"I think he understands it; he might not like it,'' Brenly
said. "He understands by his performance today, he moved to the
top of the pecking order when it comes time to reach down again.''

The Diamondbacks, who entered last in the NL in scoring, took
advantage of shoddy Mets fielding to score more than three runs in
consecutive games for the first time this year.

New York went ahead 1-0 in the nightcap on Tsuyoshi Shinjo's RBI
single in the second but Johnson got out of a bases-loaded jam by
striking out Jae Seo and getting Roberto Alomar on a groundout.

The Diamondbacks scored on Grace's two-run single in the third
off Seo (1-2). They were helped by two errors -- shortstop Joe
McEwing missed second base on a potential force play and right
fielder Roger Cedeno bobbled Grace's hit.

After the Mets tied it on Raul Gonzalez's RBI double in the
bottom half, the Diamondbacks went back ahead when Shinjo misplayed
Johnson's single to center, allowing Chad Moeller to score on the

Matt Mantei got four outs for his third save.

In the first game, Counsell hit a two-run double in the fifth
and a two-run single in the seventh to lead Arizona.

Clark hit a solo homer in the eighth off Oscar Villarreal for
New York's only run.

Game notes
Of the 30 pitchers to start games in Arizona's six-year
history, Webb became the 23rd to win his first start. ... Glavine
allowed six runs -- four earned -- in 6 1/3 innings. ... Seo allowed
three unearned runs in six innings. ... Brenly won his 200th career
game. ... The previous record for strikeouts in an 18-inning
doubleheader was 26, accomplished three times. Houston was the last
team to do it, striking out 26 against San Francisco on Sept. 5,