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Webb stifles Braves

POSTED: August 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Arizona Diamondbacks' Jon Rauch, right, gives teammate Tony Clark a high-five after Rauch closed out the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning Sunday in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 6-1.

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PHOENIX — Brandon Webb has been masterful on the mound this season in racking up the most wins in the majors. So for his latest outing he turned his focus toward his performance at the plate.

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."

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 1« 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."

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.

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. "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.Notes: Reynolds struck out in the fifth inning, his franchise-record 146th of the season. Troy Glaus held the previous record of 145, set in 2005. He added his 147th in the eighth. ... Drew singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, matching his career high. ... Diamondbacks 2B Orlando Hudson will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery late Saturday night to repair a dislocated bone in his left wrist. Hudson was injured during the sixth inning of the Braves’ 11-4 win on Saturday. Hudson was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and the Diamondbacks recalled OF Jeff Salazar from Triple-A Tucson. Arizona also transferred RHP Edgar Gonzalez to the 60-day disabled list from the 15-day DL. ... Diamondbacks LHP Doug Slaten likely will be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday before Arizona plays Colorado. ... Arizona RF Justin Upton will begin a rehab assignment in Tucson on Monday. Upton has been out since June 9 with a strained left oblique muscle. ... Braves LHP Tom Glavine, on the DL since June 11 due to a strained left elbow, allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits in five innings Saturday night for Double-A Mississippi. He threw 74 pitches, 47 for strikes, and retired his final six batters. Glavine is expected to pitch Thursday against the Chicago Cubs. ... Atlanta is 10-13 since the All-Star break, 5-5 in August after going 10-15 in July.


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