Atlanta (21-21) at Arizona (23-18)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 92° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Sat May 20, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

This time, the Arizona Diamondbacks were able to come back and win.

One night after staging a furious ninth-inning rally, the Diamondbacks seek their fifth victory in six games when Brandon Webb faces the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field on Saturday.

In a wild series opener, Arizona (23-18) fell behind by five runs in the first inning and chipped away from there to win in the ninth on Shawn Green’s game-tying double and Craig Counsell’s bases-loaded single.

The victory, the Diamondbacks’ 12th in 17 games since an 11-13 start, came on the heels of a 14-10 loss to San Diego on Wednesday in which Arizona trailed 9-0 in the opening inning before pulling to within 11-10 with an eight-run sixth.

“We’re down five, and we come back in the dugout and it’s like, ‘We’ve been there, we’ve done this before, don’t try to do too much,”’ Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “I think that’s one of the keys is that we don’t feel like we have to get it all back in one inning.

Counsell, along with Luis Gonzalez and Conor Jackson, finished with three hits, while Green continued his torrid recent production at the plate.

Green is hitting .425 (37-for-87) with two homers and 13 RBIs in his last 22 games, hitting safely in 20 of those.

Webb (6-0, 2.78 ERA) can become the NL’s first seven-game winner with a victory Saturday, but he has yet to beat Atlanta in three career starts, going 0-1 with a 2.21 ERA.

The right-hander is coming off arguably his worst outing of the season. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in six innings of Arizona’s 6-5, 10-inning win over San Diego on Monday.

Despite the loss, the Braves (21-21) have turned things around in the early going thanks in part to a pitching staff that is 9-3 with a 4.08 ERA since May 6, when Atlanta was a season-worst six games under .500 at 12-18.

The offense has been clicking as well, hitting .331 with 15 homers and 88 RBIs since May 6 to average 7.4 runs per game.

Jeff Francoeur, however, went 0-for-5 Friday and had his 16-game hitting streak snapped.

Travis Smith (NR) hopes the run support continues Saturday when he makes his first big league start in more than 20 months.

The 33-year-old right-hander is in the rotation due to the absence of Kyle Davies, who tore his right groin Monday against Florida and underwent successful surgery Friday.

It’s likely Davies will be out until at least August, meaning Smith could make a couple of spot starts until Horacio Ramirez returns.

Ramirez has been sidelined since April 5 with a hamstring strain and is targeted to rejoin the rotation on May 30.

Smith, who last made a start on Sept. 6, 2004 in a 3-1 win over Philadelphia, went 2-3 with a 6.20 ERA in 16 games, including four starts, for Atlanta that season. He had no decisions and a 6.75 ERA in 12 relief appearances last season with the Florida Marlins.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Smith LAD vs. B. Webb Tex
0-1 Record 16-8
4.15 ERA 3.10
1 K 178
1 BB 50
1.38 WHIP 1.13