Webb struggles as Rockies take 4-1 lead over Diamondbacks after 3 innings in NLCS opener Print
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Thursday, 11 October 2007 16:36
MLB Headline News

 PHOENIX (AP) -Brad Hawpe hit a two-run single off Brandon Webb, and the Colorado Rockies took a 4-1 lead after three innings in the opener of the NL championship series on Thursday night.
The first-ever NLCS between NL West rivals pitted the Rockies against a Diamondbacks team coming off its first postseason sweep, a three-game wipeout of the Chicago Cubs.
Colorado had won 17 of its previous 18 games. The lone loss was Sept. 28, when Webb beat Jeff Francis in Coors Field.
The Rockies, who beat Webb three times this year, had a patient approach that forced Webb to throw his sinker for strikes, and he struggled with his command. Webb threw 61 pitches through three innings, 37 for strikes.
Webb had not given up as many as four runs in the first three innings since Sept. 2 - when the Rockies beat him 4-3.
With about 1,000 empty seats at Chase Field, the roof was open on a 93-degree evening in the desert.
Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the first. Stephen Drew, who was 7-for-14 in the first round, singled with one out and Eric Byrnes hit Francis' first pitch down the left-field line for a double that scored Drew without a throw.
Webb pitched into a no-outs, bases-loaded jam in the second, giving up singles to Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins and walking Hawpe. That brought up Troy Tulowitzki, who entered 11-for-23 with the bases loaded this year.
Webb desperately needed a ground ball, and he got it. Tulowitzki bounced into a 6-4-3 double play, tying the game at 1-1 but averting a potentially big inning. Webb struck out Yorvit Torrealba to strand Atkins at third.
Colorado reached Webb again in the third. With one out, Willie Taveras singled and stole second on a pitch in the dirt. It was Taveras' first game after a 21-game absence caused by leg injuries.
Taveras scored on Kaz Matsui's bloop single to give Colorado a 2-1 lead. Matt Holliday then hit a ball that rolled down foul down the third-base line, kicked back fair and bounced off the bag for an infield single.
After Helton flied out, Webb loaded by the bases with a walk to Atkins, and Hawpe lined a single to right for a 4-1 lead.
 

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