Naturally, the rally started with two outs when Scott Rolen singled and Jay Bruce followed with a ground-rule double to center.
Jonny Gomes hit a tapper to the third base side of the mound and Johnson initially froze, assuming that the ball hit Gomes’ foot and would be ruled foul. He finally reacted and made a strong throw that barely beat Gomes to the bag. First baseman Derrek Lee pumped his fist as umpire Adrian Johnson called Gomes out.
Johnson will come back out for the eighth. He’s allowed only four earned runs in his last 22 appearances covering 30 innings, lowering his ERA from 5.14 to 2.45.
Update: Johnson retired the side in order in the eighth. Make it four earned runs in his last 31 innings. His ERA is down to 2.40.
Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk’s Steve Johnson rebounded from a nightmarish outing in his last start to hold Buffalo to two runs and three hits in six innings, with four walks and four strikeouts.
Johnson allowed 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings in his first game back with the Tides. He gave up four hits and walked seven batters.
Before tonight, Johnson was 0-2 with a 15.09 ERA in three starts in the International League, allowing 19 runs and 16 hits in 11 1/3 innings, with 13 walks and five strikeouts. He was much better against Buffalo.
Johnson was 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts at Double-A Bowie, with 40 hits, 15 walks and 59 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings.