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Braves club D-backs' ace

POSTED: June 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Atlanta Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar avoids Arizona Diamondbacks' Jeff Salazar after forcing him out at second base on a Chris Young ground ball in the ninth inning Monday in Atlanta. Atlanta won 7-3.

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ATLANTA — Brandon Webb’s 9-0 start was rare. So was his second straight loss.

Webb gave up a season-high 10 hits in his shortest start since 2006, with Mark Teixeira driving in four runs to lead the Atlanta Braves over the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 Monday.

"I just wasn’t sharp," Webb said. "I started off and everything they hit seemed to find holes. I wasn’t working ahead and didn’t have a real good fastball. My velocity was down. I got a lot of strikeouts but it didn’t seem like I could ever make the big pitch when it counted."

Webb (9-2) allowed seven runs — four earned. Since the end of the 2004 season, the only other time Webb failed to finish the fifth inning was when he lasted four innings against San Diego on Oct. 1, 2006.

"Nobody can be perfect every time," Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder said. "Everybody was asking what he was doing different than when he was winning. He wasn’t doing anything different then and he’s not doing anything different now."

Webb won his first nine decisions before losing 3-1 at Florida last Wednesday. He struck out eight, walked three and fell behind 5-1 in the second inning of this one. The hits were the most he allowed since San Diego had 11 last July 15.

Arizona manager Bob Melvin said Webb’s outing should have been even shorter. Webb threw 100 pitches.

"He got a little tired," Melvin said. "I probably should have gotten him out earlier."

Atlanta split the four-game series to complete an 8-3 homestand, the Braves’ longest this season. Arizona finished a 2-5 trip.

Manny Acosta (3-1) pitched two hitless innings to win in relief of Jair Jurrjens, who gave up three runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said Jurrjens, like Jorge Campillo earlier in the week, had problems with his pitching hand.

"I thought he pitched really good for having two blisters," Cox said. "He’s a young kid and we’ve got to take care of him a little bit. He’s already accumulated a lot of innings."

Jeff Bennett entered with a 5-3 lead, a man on and two outs in the fifth and retired Mark Reynolds on a flyout.

Teixeira hit a two-run double in the first and added a two-run single off Webb in the three-run second.

"Both of them, I think, were broken bats," Webb said, adding "I don’t know. You shake your head."

A throwing error by Reynolds on Jurrjens’ sacrifice set up three unearned runs, with Greg Norton scoring from second on the bunt.

"This guy over the last couple years is probably the best pitcher in baseball," Teixeira said. "For us to go out there and score a bunch of runs off him today, we did a good job of swinging the bats."

Jeff Salazar hit an RBI single in the first, and Arizona closed in the fifth on Orlando Hudson’s two-run homer.

Brian McCann homered in the bottom half, only the fourth allowed by Webb this season. Pinch-hitter Ruben Gotay’s RBI single chased Webb.Notes: The seven runs were the most allowed by Webb since June 22 last year, when he gave up seven runs — three earned — in a 7-1 loss to Baltimore at Arizona. ... Kelly Johnson’s sixth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... The Braves activated RHP Buddy Carlyle, and RHP Chris Resop was designated for assignment. ... Chad Tracy came off the DL to start at first base in his 2008 debut. C Robby Hammock was optioned to Triple-A Tucson. ... Braves CF Mark Kotsay was a late scratch with tightness in his back. ... Arizona RHP Micah Owings pinch hit in the eighth and hit into a double play. He is batting .286 (10-for-35) with a home run, three RBIs and 12 strikeouts.



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