|Arizona ace Brandon Webb beats Rockies, Jeff Francis for second time this season|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 April 2008 01:03|
The Arizona ace gave up two runs on four hits in eight innings, and with three two-run homers to back him, the Diamondbacks beat Colorado 8-2 on Friday night to run their winning streak to a major-league best seven games.
``It's like trying to catch a chicken,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said, in a vain attempt to explain Webb's vexing assortment of sinkers, curves and change-ups that had his lineup guessing all night. ``Every time you think you've got a bead on it, it was gone.''
Eric Byrnes, Orlando Hudson and Justin Upton each hit two-run shots off Francis. The Rockies' left-hander has made two starts, both losses to Arizona with Webb on the mound, and gave up seven runs on seven hits in five-plus innings in this one.
``His stuff isn't where it can be,'' Hurdle said. ``His command is not where it has been, where it needs to be. His pitch efficiency isn't where it needs to be. Obviously, three two-run homers - two of them walks followed up by homers - there's work to be done.''
In other NL games Friday night, it was Philadelphia 5, the Chicago Cubs 3; the New York Mets 4, Milwaukee 2; Atlanta 3, Washington 0; Pittsburgh 1, Cincinnati 0; Florida 10, Houston 6; St. Louis 8, San Francisco 2; and San Diego 7, the Los Angeles Dodgers 5.
All seven of the Diamondbacks' victories in their winning streak have come against NL West foes, four against the Rockies - a team that swept Arizona in last year's NL championship series - and three against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hudson said that there undoubtedly will be tough times ahead, ``but I say ride the wave while it's high.''
Nobody is higher than Webb, who at one point retired 11 in a row before a two-out single by Jayson Nix in the fifth.
``That's the best I've felt in a long time,'' Webb said. ``I had almost all my pitches going. When I needed them, they were there.''
The game was tied at 1 when Chris Young singled to start the third. Byrnes then lined a 1-0 pitch over the fence down the left field line for his second home run of the season.
Francis retired the first two batters in the fifth, but Byrnes walked and Hudson homered to make it 5-1.
``There's no question they're a good team,'' Francis said, ``but I think I'm a better pitcher than that.''
Upton's soaring, 428-foot shot with no outs in the sixth ended Francis' night. It was the 20-year-old Upton's fourth home run of the season. Entering his first full season in the majors, Upton is batting .368.
``He's got some power. I don't know if you've noticed that,'' Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. ``He's riding a confidence wave right now, and that's something I think is big for him early in the season.''
Phillies 5, Cubs 3
At Philadelphia, Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer and had a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning to help the Phillies snap the Cubs' five-game winning streak.
Brett Myers (1-1) allowed three runs on solo homers over eight innings to earn his first win since moving back into the starting rotation. He finished last season as the closer.
Carlos Zambrano (1-1) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings.
Mets 4, Brewers 2
At New York, Nelson Figueroa earned his first major league win in five years, and the Mets got a good effort from their bullpen to win their third in a row.
Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy each had an RBI double for the Brewers, who dropped their third straight after opening the season 6-1. Manny Parra (1-1) allowed three runs and six hits in four innings.
Braves 3, Nationals 0
At Washington, Tim Hudson scattered three hits over eight innings to improve to 6-1 all-time against the Nationals, outpitching Washington starter Matt Chico.
Hudson (2-0) struck out five and walked two. Yunel Escobar hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, and the Braves added two runs in the ninth on a bases-loaded single by Matt Diaz.
Chico (0-2) gave Washington eight strong innings, allowing one run and five hits.
Pirates 1, Reds 0
At Pittsburgh, Jason Bay hit a home run in the sixth inning.
Paul Maholm, John Grabow (1-0), Damaso Marte and Matt Capps combined on a seven-hit shutout. The Pirates ended a three-game losing streak and won for the first time at home this season.
Marlins 10, Astros 6
At Houston, Jeremy Hermida hit two of Florida's team-record six home runs and the Marlins roughed up Roy Oswalt for their fourth straight victory.
Oswalt (0-3) gave up four home runs in a game for the first time in his career. He allowed nine hits and eight runs in four innings. The three-time All-Star has struggled in all three starts this season, allowing 30 hits and 17 runs.
Ricky Nolasco (1-0) got the win in his first start of 2008 after two relief appearances.
Cardinals 8, Giants 2
At San Francisco, Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer, Kyle Lohse logged another strong performance and the Cardinals snapped the Giants' three-game winning streak.
Lohse (2-0) gave up eight hits over 5 1-3 innings, with two strikeouts and a walk. He opened the season with 15 consecutive scoreless innings, a streak that ended in the fourth.
Barry Zito (0-3) gave up four runs - only one earned - on seven hits over six innings.
Padres 7, Dodgers 5
At Los Angeles, Jake Peavy beat Brad Penny for the second time in seven days, Tadahito Iguchi had a pair of RBI singles and San Diego sent Los Angeles to its fourth straight loss.
Peavy (3-0) improved to 11-1 in 20 career starts against the Dodgers with a 2.31 ERA. He's won his last nine decisions against them - including last Saturday's two-hitter at Petco Park.