PHOENIX (AP) -The Colorado Rockies know the best way to get to Brandon Webb.
Instead of flailing as his trademark sinker dives into the dirt, they make the Arizona ace throw it for strikes. They don't swing from their heels. They patiently chip away.
Facing Webb for the seventh time this season, the Rockies used that approach Thursday night and beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 in the NL championship series opener.
``We have seen him a number of times,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. ``And, you know, patience, not just in baseball, but in a lot of different areas, usually has a tendency to work to your advantage.''
Back in spring training, Webb pitched against Arizona minor leaguers rather than face the Rockies in an exhibition game. The Diamondbacks didn't want to give their NL West rivals any clues about Webb, who faced the Rockies on opening day.
Colorado seemed to know Webb well enough in Game 1.
Webb allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks. He threw 98 pitches, 61 for strikes.
The Rockies didn't pound him. They pestered him with bloopers and a 90-foot single that rolled down the third base line and kissed the bag.
``I had good stuff,'' Webb said. ``It was tough luck.''
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner had not given up as many as four runs in the first three innings since Sept. 2 - when the Rockies beat him 4-3. During the regular season he was 1-3 with a 5.77 ERA against Colorado - the lone win was Sept. 28, when Webb beat Jeff Francis to send the Rockies to their only loss in their past 19 games.
Webb has developed a reputation as a big-game pitcher. But with Chase Field nearly filled to capacity with towel-waving Diamondbacks fans, Webb quickly found himself in trouble.
With Colorado trailing 1-0, the Rockies loaded the bases with no outs in the second. Webb got Troy Tulowitzki to ground into a double play and struck out Yorvit Torrealba, limiting the damage to one run.
But Kaz Matsui's bloop RBI single and Brad Hawpe's two-run single made it 4-1 in the third. Arizona never recovered.
``They blooped about three, four that inning and strung them together and ended up scoring three runs,'' Webb said. ``Not a whole lot I could do right there. I thought I was executing my pitches fairly well, and they were getting hits.''

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