Webb outduels Lowe in battle of sinkerballersJun 28, 2007 - 7:18 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- In a matchup between two of the best sinkerball pitchers in the game, Brandon Webb outdueled Derek Lowe to help the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Webb pitched in-and-out of trouble for seven innings and Chad Tracy and Eric Byrnes knocked in runs as the Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers for only the second time this season in eight games.
Coming off of one of his worst performances of the season on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles when he surrendered seven runs and seven hits in five innings, Webb (8-5) did not have a perfect frame in his seven-inning stint, allowing four leadoff hitters to reach and stranding 11 runners.
"That was a gutsy performance right there," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "This is the biggest series of the year, to an extent. If there was a must win this year, that was it."
The reigning Cy Young Award winner stranded Juan Pierre at third base with one out in the third, stranded runners on second and third in the next frame and allowed the first two runners in the seventh to reach before escaping. In the sixth he was helped by his defense, when right fielder Byrnes threw out Luis Gonzalez trying to stretch a single into a double.
"I thought I had a chance to get it. When the ball landed at my feet I realized I should have gone for it then it got by me," Byrnes said. "Then I was frustrated and took out all my frustration into the throw."
Webb surrendered seven hits and five walks in this one.
"This was one of those games that both of us were on top of our game," Webb said. "Around the second inning you know there was not a lot of room for error. I was very fortunate because stuff wise I didn't have very good stuff. The last game I felt great and got hammered tonight felt terrible and didn't give up any runs through seven."
The Dodgers had runners on first and second with nobody out in the eighth, but Juan Cruz replaced Randy Choate and struck out Nomar Garciaparra and pinch hitter Olmedo Saenz around a walk to Andre Ethier before closer Jose Valverde retired Rafael Furcal to escape the eighth.
Valverde logged the ninth for his 25th save and first of more than three outs, and put Arizona back into a first-place tie with San Diego, one-half game ahead of the Dodgers.
Gonzalez and Loney had three hits each, but the Dodgers failed to advance an astronomical 30 runners.
"We had some opportunities throughout the game but couldn't get the big hit when we needed to," Dodgers manager Grady Little. "It happens that way sometimes and then there are times you will score seven, eight runs and leave just two people on."
Loney is 14-for-24 on the road trip, which ends Thursday.
Arizona got to Lowe in the first when Stephen Drew and Orlando Hudson drew one-out walks and moved moved up a base on first baseman Loney's fielding error. Tracy followed with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.
The sinkerballer limited the D-Backs to just three hits thereafter until Scott Hairston led off the seventh with a single to center field, advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on a two-out ground single to left by Byrnes, ending Arizona's drought of 19 consecutive hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position.
"With those two guys on the mound you never know what can happen," Tracy said. "You take them when you can get them because runs are going to be hard to come by."
Lowe (8-7) yielded two runs - one earned - and five hits in 6 2/3 innings to drop to 2-5 in 10 career starts against Arizona. He entered 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last six starts, and he has surrendered no more than four runs in any of his 15 starts this season.
"You look at tonight's game and I was fortunate to get out of the first inning. It was 30 pitches and luck," Lowe said. "Sometimes when you get out of an inning like that it gives you confidence. You realize you have a long way to go and you try to settle down."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
LA DODGERS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
ARIZONA 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 x 2 6 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: LOS - DEREK LOWE, JOE BEIMEL (7TH), RUDY SEANEZ (8TH) AND RUSSELL
ARI - BRANDON WEBB, RANDY CHOATE (8TH), JUAN CRUZ
(8TH), JOSE VALVERDE (8TH) AND CHRIS SNY
Jun 28 12:36 AM
AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY ERIC BYRNES SCORED SCOTT HAIRSTON.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E BYRNES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 0
ARIZONA 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: S DREW (.236, 1-FOR-2, BB)
Dodgers vs. DiamondbacksJun 27 11:46 PM
AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
SACRIFICE FLY BY CHAD TRACY SCORED STEPHEN DREW.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T CLARK ON FIRST, O HUDSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 0
ARIZONA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C YOUNG (.246, 11 HR, 29 RBI)
Dodgers vs. DiamondbacksJun 27 9:58 PM
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