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Big Unit’s big day

Former pitcher Randy Johnson throws out the first pitch during ceremonies prior to Arizona’s game on Sunday. (Associated Press)
Former pitcher Randy Johnson throws out the first pitch during ceremonies prior to Arizona’s game on Sunday. (Associated Press)

Randy Johnson returned to his old Arizona ballpark Sunday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his perfect game.

Johnson says it was “flattering and humbling” to come back and throw out the pitch before the game between the Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Johnson was 40 years old when he threw the perfect game in Atlanta. His catcher that day, Robby Hammock, caught Johnson’s toss Sunday from the mound where he had some of his best games of his career.

Johnson says he is a different, less intense person than he was as a player. He says he is enjoying life after baseball, traveling with his children and feels fortunate to have played so long and left the game in good health.

Reds hoping to avoid DL for Joey Votto

The Reds are still hoping they won’t have to put Joey Votto on the disabled list.

The 2010 N.L. MVP missed his third straight game because of a left knee injury. Manager Bryan Price said after the 8-3 loss to the Phillies that “we don’t want to DL him and find out in two or three days he’s ready to play.”

The Reds open a three-game series against the Nationals today, and Price couldn’t say whether Votto even would be in Washington, let alone play.

The manager says: “As long as we’re somewhat comfortable having a four-man bench, we won’t have to make a decision” on the DL.

Babe Ruth’s watch auctioned off

A gold pocket watch owned by Babe Ruth has sold for $650,108 at an auction in Southern California.

SCP Auctions said that the watch was from the 25th anniversary celebration in 1948 of the opening of Yankee Stadium. The stadium came to be dubbed “The House That Ruth Built” because of the number of fans the baseball legend drew to the venue.

SCP says other top sales include a 1965 Sandy Koufax-autographed L.A. Dodgers home jersey worn in a game that fetched $268,664.

The auction house says Satchel Paige’s 1971 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ring set a world record for a baseball-related ring, selling for $259,642.

More than 1,000 sports memorabilia items were sold Sunday for a total of $4.5 million.

Rockies turn triple play on Padres

The Colorado Rockies turned a triple play against the San Diego Padres, the third in team history and first since 2007.

In the third inning Sunday, third baseman Nolan Arenado fielded a grounder by Carlos Quentin and stepped on the bag. He threw to second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, who relayed the ball on to first.

Quentin was originally ruled safe at first, but the second-base umpire called Seth Smith for baserunner interference as he slid into second.