By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Randy Johnson wins No. 299, Giants top Braves 6-3
Atlanta Braves catcher David Ross, right, and San Francisco Giants' Bengie Molina await the call at the plate during the fifth inning Wednesday in San Francisco. Molina was tagged out attempting to score on a hit by Travis Ishikawa. - photo by Ben Margot

SAN FRANCISCO — Randy Johnson earned his 299th victory with six impressive innings, yielding three hits and one run in the San Francisco Giants' 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

Johnson (4-4) retired the Braves' first nine hitters and 15 of the first 16 in a performance reminiscent of the Big Unit in his inimitable prime, although the 45-year-old left-hander has less power and more precision these days.

The five-time Cy Young Award winner struck out five to run his career total to 4,843, second-most in baseball history. He didn't walk a batter and allowed his only run on Casey Kotchman's RBI single in the sixth, which he finished by striking out Chipper Jones for the third time.

Johnson likely will get his first chance to become the 24th major leaguer with 300 victories next Wednesday at Washington.

Aaron Rowand hit two doubles for the Giants and stole home when Atlanta catcher David Ross fell down while running to tag him on a broken play. Rowand was one of five Giants who drove in a run as they got back to .500 with their first three-game series sweep of the season.

Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 13 opportunities.

Johnson often is at his best against the Braves, who have scored just two runs against him in 28 innings dating back to 2004. Jones was particularly flummoxed, twice striking out to end an inning — and Jones also struck out in the eighth against reliever Merkin Valdez.

All four of Johnson's victories during his first season with the Giants have occurred in their waterfront ballpark, but San Francisco's bullpen nearly blew No. 299 after the Unit left with a 2-1 lead.

After the Giants scored two more runs in the sixth, Atlanta pinch-hitter Garret Anderson hit a two-run single in the seventh to trim the lead to 4-3. But San Francisco added two more runs in the seventh while giving Johnson more than one run of support for just the fourth time in his 10 starts.

Kenshin Kawakami (3-6) allowed nine hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings for Atlanta during his sixth defeat in eight starts.
Rowand hit a leadoff double in the third and took third on a passed ball before stealing home — although it was hardly a clean swipe.

With Rowand on third and Edgar Renteria on first, Ross threw to second base and caught Renteria in a rundown before Rowand broke for home much too late to beat second baseman Martin Prado's throw.

But the ball bounced off Ross and skittered out in front of the plate. Ross collected it and went to tag Rowand, but the catcher's spikes slipped in the dirt, leaving him flopping on the ground while Rowand slid home.

Notes:  Jeff Francoeur threw out Bengie Molina at the plate in the fifth inning when San Francisco's stone-footed catcher attempted to score from second base on a single to right field. ... Giants RHP Joe Martinez, who was hit in the head by a line drive early last month, will throw off a mound next Friday. He won't return before the All-Star break.

Regional events