TUCSON, Ariz. -- Brandon Webb was all smiles after pitching four solid innings in a "B" game against an unusually familiar-looking White Sox roster that included as many regulars as non-roster invitees at one of Tucson Electric Park's practice fields. The Diamondbacks ace allowed two earned runs off five hits and struck out three White Sox in his third start of the spring. "It's a little different when they're throwing [Jim] Thome and [A.J.] Pierzynski out there every inning," Webb said, referring to the usual anonymity of a typical "B" game lineup. "But it's sometimes tough if you go over there and have some of the younger hitters from the Double-A and Triple-A teams and they're out there hacking at every pitch. It's tough to really do what you're used to doing."
Arizona manager Bob Melvin threw Webb in the morning "B" game to avoid overexposing him to divisional foe San Diego, whom the Diamondbacks played at TEP in the afternoon. Melvin will do the same Monday when he throws Livan Hernandez in a simulated game rather than starting him against the Colorado Rockies, another divisional opponent. Other than a pair of walks Sunday, the 2006 National League Cy Young winner appeared to do what he wanted. He threw all his pitches and had good location most of the morning. "I walked a couple again. I don't know where that's coming from," Webb said. "And I threw a couple of pitches I probably wouldn't have thrown in a regular game, made some mistakes." One mistake came on a fastball to Luis Terrero, which the White Sox outfielder belted for an RBI triple. "[Webb] did good," Melvin said. "He went four innings, threw some changeups and [got] some sinkers in there, too. More than anything, it was just about getting him off the Padres. ... He'll see them enough." Melvin said he didn't think the White Sox lineup of several regulars affected Webb's approach to the game as he is "one of those guys where the scouting report doesn't come into play." When Webb's sinker is working, Melvin said, it shouldn't matter who he is facing. R.J. update: A day after pitching to live batters for the first time this spring after offseason back surgery, Randy Johnson said everything felt fine Sunday after stretching and going through his regular off-day treatment. "It feels good, but it's a process," Johnson said. "Its just like everyone else here. I need to take it each day and see how things go, but so far, it feels really good." Johnson said he expects to pitch a batting-practice session again in three to four days. Melvin said he wasn't yet sure when Johnson would pitch again, but agreed his next outing will be a batting-practice session.
Geoff Grammer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.