Phillies lose 8-3 in Arizona

May 8, 2008 4:14:38 PM PDT
That new contract in the works for Brandon Webb might have grown a few digits. Webb became the first pitcher in three years to win his first eight starts, pitching his 13th career complete game to help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 on Thursday.

The 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner struck out four and didn't walk a batter in his first complete game of the year. He hit one batter.

"I felt early on I had good stuff, even in the pen," Webb said. "My arm felt great, the best it's probably felt in three games."

The easygoing Webb (8-0) became the first pitcher to win his first eight starts since Jon Garland of the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and the first in the NL since Pedro Martinez for Montreal in 1997, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Everything has to go your way for these things to work," Webb said. "Guys hitting in situations and making plays. The bullpen has been coming through. Everything has to fall in place and it has whenever I've been out there."

Webb stifled the Phillies on three hits through eight innings before allowing two runs and three hits in the ninth. Philadelphia's first-inning run was unearned.

Manager Bob Melvin came to the mound after the Phillies scored two runs in the ninth and had a runner on first with one out. With catcher Chris Snyder almost pleading with the manager to leave Webb in, Melvin relented.

"He said `You've got one batter,"' Webb said. "`I said, all right."'

Geoff Jenkins then lined one off the pitcher's glove that Webb turned in to a game-ending double play.

Webb is one of baseball's biggest bargains, or one of the most underpaid depending on the perspective, but the Diamondbacks are trying to work out a new deal.

He is scheduled to make $5.5 million this season as part of a four-year contract that originally guaranteed him $19.5 million and potentially is worth $27.5 million over five seasons. He is due $6.5 million next year, and the Diamondbacks have an $8.5 million option for 2010 with a $1.5 million buyout.

"We've been talking a little bit and, hopefully, it's not something that drags out too long," Webb said. "We'll get something done."

Chris Young hit a two-run drive, his second homer in as many games, and Snyder had a two-run double for the Diamondbacks, who split the four-game series to finish their longest homestand of the season 5-5. Justin Upton added a solo home run for Arizona.

"Any time you get Webby run support, he just kind of gets some confidence and gets in synch and just starts pitching to contact, getting early ground balls, conserving his pitches," Snyder said, "and he did his job."

Brett Myers (2-3) allowed seven runs - six earned - and nine hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked three, one intentionally.

"I can't put together back-to-back good starts and I don't know what the problem is," Myers said. "That's frustrating. I don't know. I made some good pitches they hit, I made some bad pitches they crushed. I don't know. I'v'e just got to keep working and try to get through it."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel certainly expects better.

"He's got to pitch better than that," Manuel said. "He's got to get consistent. He plays a part in us winning. He was our opening day starter and we want him to be consistent. HE has to pitch and win for us. He had a rough day."

Shane Victorino singled twice and scored twice for the Phillies. Eric Bruntlett had two singles and an RBI.

The Phillies scratched out a run in the first. Victorino led off with an infield single off the glove of first baseman Pat Burke and took second on a passed ball. He advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Chase Utley's sacrifice fly.

Young's eighth homer of the season - coming after Augie Ojeda's single - gave Arizona the lead for good in the bottom half.

The Diamondbacks scored four in the fourth. Myers walked the first two batters, then Mark Reynolds loaded the bases with the second of his three singles. Snyder followed with a double down the left-field line.

Eric Byrnes hit into what looked to be a double play, but second baseman Utley dropped the ball for an error that allowed another run to score. Ojeda's sacrifice fly made it 7-1.

Upton led off the seventh with a homer off Clay Condrey.

Notes: 1B Conor Jackson (head injury) and 2B Orlando Hudson (hamstring) were out of the Arizona lineup, but Jackson is expected to play Friday and Hudson could return over the weekend, Melvin said. ... Bruntlett was 7-for-18 with eight RBIs in the series.