SAN FRANCISCO -- Already on a roll, the Arizona Diamondbacks welcome Randy Johnson back from injury tonight -- just in time to face the Giants at AT&T Park.
This is Johnson's first start since undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back last August.
Without much else to go on, the Giants scouted his recent rehabilitation start, where Johnson's fastball occasionally hit 92 mph for Triple-A Tucson.
"He's throwing like he normally does," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's going to be up in the 90s, and come with that slider and changeup. I don't think we're going to see anything different than what we've seen in the past."
The Giants have been struggling for runs against any pitcher, so the prospect of facing a five-time Cy Young Award winner looks daunting. The veteran left-hander, though, is only 7-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 20 games against the Giants.
All five Giants who have faced Johnson at least 10 times have a .300 average or better against him. Rich Aurilia is 16-for-47 (.340) with three home runs; Ray Durham is 10-for-33 (.303) with a homer; Randy Winn is 6-for-18 (.333); Bengie Molina is 6-for-16 (.375) with a homer; and Aaron Rowand is 4-for-13 (.308) with a homer.
Bochy said Rowand is expected back in the starting lineup tonight for the first time since Thursday. The center fielder has been limited by rib and groin injuries. "He wants to play, he wants to be out there," Bochy said. "There's just no point in pushing it." ... Tennis star Andre Agassi and friends hung out in the Giants dugout during batting practice, chatting with J.T. Snow and Kevin Frandsen. ... Omar Vizquel, recovering from knee surgery, took swings and fielded groundballs during batting practice, but Bochy was uncertain about when the veteran shortstop would be ready for a rehabilitation trip to Triple-A Fresno. ... Reliever Vinnie Chulk (shoulder) might be activated from the disabled list Tuesday. ... Comcast SportsNet Bay Area was nominated for seven Northern California Emmy Awards. Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow were nominated for on-camera talent/sports play-by-play. ... Jose Castillo's eight doubles lead the National League. ... Giants starters have a 1.40 ERA over the past six games.
-- Daniel Brown, MediaNews staff