Randy Johnson to Miss Friday's Start

Don't point at the back; It's the forearm

The Big Unit will miss his next start Friday with tendinitis in his forearm. Edgar Gonzalez is sexpected to take Johnson's place for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

INSIDE PITCH

Randy Johnson's recovery and return from late October back surgery had been smooth sailing, for the most part. He got a late start in spring training, but never missed a beat in his ongoing rehab that would eventually see him returning to form, especially in his past three starts for the Diamondbacks.

But on Wednesday, it was learned that Johnson will have to miss his start on Friday against the visiting Astros -- and not because of his back.

Johnson, 43, is now sidelined with what the team is called forearm tendonitis. The veteran left-hander said he experienced some soreness in his left forearm after his 79-pitch effort in Colorado a week ago in which he faced the minimum amount of batters over six innings and then felt additional soreness on Sunday while warming up in Pittsburgh.

He received a cortisone shot on Tuesday and after being evaluated by the club's hand specialist, Dr. Don Sheridan, Johnson sounded confident he may only be forced to miss one start.

"He said it was nothing to worry about," Johnson said of Sheridan. "He felt like it's be in my best interest to have it rest for just one start."

Johnson suspects the injury could be a byproduct of having a delayed spring training.

"Now that my body is starting to give me the results that I want, I'm putting a little bit more effort into everything a little bit more," Johnson said. "If this is the World Series, I'd be out there. But I've got 25 other games to think about. So I think it would be safe to put the 24 games ahead of one game."

The injury gives Edgar Gonzalez, whose spot in the rotation was usurped by Johnson last month, a chance to prove that he belongs in a major league rotation. Gonzalez is out of options, and could be used as trade bait in July. Gonzalez had a 4.45 ERA in five starts this year, but has an 8.10 ERA while seeing limited action in the Diamondbacks bullpen.

Johnson hopes to make his next start on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

ROCKIES 2, DIAMONDBACKS 0: The Diamondbacks couldn't solve Colorado pitcher Jeff Francis, who improved to 7-1 lifetime against Arizona in allowing just five hits over seven innings and letting just two Diamondbacks baserunners to reach second base.

Ryan Spilborghs accounted for both of the Rockies' RBIs, doubling home Jamey Carroll in the third inning and scoring Carroll again in the fifth with a single -- all off left-hander Doug Davis (2-6), who allowed six hits through seven innings.

Diamondbacks rookie third baseman Mark Reynolds had three of his team's hits and is now batting .393 since being promoted straight from Class AA Mobile to fill in for the injured Chad Tracy (rib cage strain). It was the second time the Diamondbacks have been shut out this season.

NOTES, QUOTES

--CF Chris Young was scratched from the lineup on Wednesday as he still is not fully recovered from a left groin strain. He was replaced by Scott Hairston, who missed the past two games with a sore wrist and stomach problems.

--LHP Doug Davis went 0-for-1 Wednesday, extending his hitless streak to 0-for-45, the longest active streak in the majors.

--RHP Edgar Gonzalez is expected to pitch for LHP Randy Johnson on Friday against visiting Houston. Johnson will skip the start because of tendinitis in his left forearm. Gonzalez has been pitching out of the bullpen for the past several weeks after beginning the season in the starting rotation.

--3B Mark Reynolds on adjusting to opposing pitchers after his first several days in the majors: "I've got to learn to be patient, because they're not going to give me that first-pitch cookie anymore. I've got to sit back and take my singles to right field, and when they make a mistake, hit it."

--RHP Brandon Medders hasn't allowed a hit or a run in his past three outings, spanning 3 1/3 innings, after allowing eight homers in his first 18 appearances. In his last three relief efforts, he's allowed one walk and has three strikeouts.

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