Diamondbacks’ Webb beats Braves for 17th win

Published 6:58 am Monday, August 11, 2008

It’s hard enough trying to get hits against the major league-leader in wins. When he starts swinging the bat well, too, that’s just unfair.

Brandon Webb pitched six strong innings for his 17th win and hit a two-run double to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

“I got a good piece of wood on that one,” Webb said. “We had a couple of ducks on the pond and that’s when I step it up.”

Webb (17-4) was effective if not sharp, allowing one run and six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 62 of 96 pitches for strikes in his shortest outing since three straight six-inning starts from June 28-July 8.

In other NL games on Sunday, it was: Chicago 6, St. Louis 2; Florida 8, New York 2; Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 2; San Francisco 5, Los Angeles 4; Milwaukee 5, Washington 4 in 13 innings; San Diego 16, Colorado 7; and Houston 13, Cincinnati 4.

With Arizona leading 4-0 with two outs in the fourth inning and Jamie D’Antona standing on second, Atlanta starter Mike Hampton intentionally walked Chris Burke to get to Webb. But the right-hander lined a double over the outstretched glove of Jeff Francouer in center, scoring D’Antona and Burke to put the Diamondbacks ahead 6-0.

“Every now and then you get lucky and get a base hit,” Webb said.

Chris Snyder homered for the first-place Diamondbacks, who snapped a four-game losing streak and extended their lead in the NL West over Los Angeles to 1½ games.

“The Dodgers aren’t going to give us the division,” said third baseman Mark Reynolds, who hit a two-run double in the first. “We have to win as many games as we can. The way the division is it’s crucial for us to keep playing and keep plugging along.”

After loading the bases twice in the sixth and surrendering a sacrifice fly to Omar Infante, Webb — the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner — escaped by fielding Francouer’s grounder and starting an inning-ending double play.

“We had a chance to get to him and they got out of it with a double play,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. “That’s what he does. Brandon Webb is unbelievable, the probable Cy Young Award winner again.”

Infante finished 2-for-3 for the Braves, who fell one game short of their first four-game sweep of Arizona since 2004.

“To win three out of four against their pitching staff is pretty good,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. “They’ve got an outstanding staff and getting three is big.”

After Webb’s double, Hampton (1-1) retired Stephen Drew to end the fourth inning but his day was done. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out three in matching his shortest start since coming off the disabled list July 26.

“I made some terrible pitches with guys in scoring position,” Hampton said.

Reynolds gave Arizona a 2-0 lead in the first when he hit a two-run double into the left-field corner. Reynolds scored on Chris Young’s groundout to first.

“That first inning went a long way toward getting us moving in the right direction,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “Early runs and Brandon Webb on the mound usually ends up being all good in the end.”

Snyder made it 4-0 when he led off the second with his 10th home run, his first since July 30.