5 double plays help Johnson hold Clippers to 2 runs in 7 Red Wings win, 9-5, on slam in 10th


ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- If the double play is truly the pitcher's best friend, then Dave Johnson is a popular guy.

The Rochester Red Wings turned five double plays behind Johnson last night against the Columbus Clippers in an International League game at Silver Stadium. Johnson went seven innings in the Red Wings' 9-5, 10-inning victory.

Tommy Shields' one-out grand slam in the 10th made a winner of Jim Poole (3-2).

Johnson, the Baltimore Orioles pitcher who was making his second rehabilitation start with the Red Wings, gave up two runs, one earned, through seven innings.

He left with runners on first and third and none out in the eighth inning.

Rochester pitching coach Dick Bosman, comparing Johnson's start last night with his previous outing, against the Richmond Braves, said: "He was better than the last time. He had more quality pitches. He had a better changeup that was real helpful against left-handed hitters."

Reliever Dave Martinez allowed the inherited runners to score when he gave up a double to John Ramos, giving the Clippers a 4-3 lead.

The Red Wings came to Johnson's aid in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

Two of the double plays, in the second and third innings, came on ground balls.

"He made a couple of good pitches down to get those ground balls," Bosman said. "When he really needs to get a ground ball, he's able to get the pitches."

After Torey Lovullo swung at strike three in the fifth, catcher Jeff Tackett threw out Jim Walewander trying to steal second.

Second baseman Mark McLemore started the last two, catching low line drives and doubling up runners.

Johnson gave up 10 hits and three walks and struck out six. Johnson had given up three earned runs in his first start for the Red Wings, a 3-0 loss to the Richmond Braves on Wednesday.

In 13 innings with the Red Wings, the right-hander has allowed 18 hits, seven runs (six earned) and five walks. He has struck out eight.

Johnson was 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in three starts with the Class AA Hagerstown Suns.

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