Los Angeles (47-48) at Arizona (47-47)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Thu Jul 20, 2006
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Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb probably isn’t the pitcher the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers want to see in the finale of their road trip.

The Diamondbacks will send the National League ERA leader to the mound on Thursday night when they conclude a four-game series with the Dodgers at Chase Field.

Webb (10-3, 2.52 ERA) is making his first start of the year against the Dodgers (47-48). He went 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in two starts against them last season.

The right-handed All-Star is 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA in three starts in July. He made his first start since the All-Star break a successful one by allowing six hits over seven scoreless innings in an 8-1 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday.

“Mechanically, it was probably as sound as I’ve been all year,” said Webb, who had a season-high 10 strikeouts. “My arm felt great. The changeup was really good tonight, and I could locate my fastballs.”

Webb is 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA in nine starts at Chase Field this season.

Los Angeles fell to 1-6 on its road trip with an 8-0 loss on Wednesday. The Dodgers are batting .228 and have scored only 13 runs on the trip.

All-Star first baseman Nomar Garciaparra is struggling on the trip, going 5-for-25 with just three RBIs. Garciaparra had entered the All-Star break on a 21-game hitting streak in which he hit .373.

The Dodgers will likely be without infielder Cesar Izturis for the fourth straight game. Izturis is in Los Angeles to be with his wife and newborn daughter and will likely rejoin the club when it returns home Friday.

Miguel Batista pitched a six-hitter on Wednesday and Shawn Green and Orlando Hudson each hit two-run homers for Arizona (47-47), which improved to 4-2 on a 10-game homestand. The Diamondbacks, who are 5-6 against the Dodgers this year, have won seven of nine overall.

Green has been outstanding this year against his former team, batting .459 (17-for-37) with 11 runs scored. He’s 5-for-11 with four runs scored in this series.

Rookie shortstop Stephen Drew went 3-for-4 in his fifth career game for Arizona. Drew, the Diamondbacks’ first-round pick in 2004, was 2-for-15 in his first four games.

Mark Hendrickson (0-2, 3.57) makes his fourth start for Los Angeles since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He pitched well his last outing, giving up one run and five hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 2-1, 10-inning loss at St. Louis on Saturday.

“I’m a little more settled in,” Hendrickson said. “The first couple, it was hectic. The (All-Star) break allowed me a chance to get a place and return to normalcy.”

The left-hander is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two career starts against Arizona, including an interleague outing with Tampa Bay on June 20 in which he gave up four runs and a season-high nine hits over seven innings in an 8-5 win, also the last victory for Hendrickson this year.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Hendrickson Bal vs. B. Webb Tex
6-15 Record 16-8
4.21 ERA 3.10
99 K 178
62 BB 50
1.43 WHIP 1.13