St. Louis (75-65) at Arizona (66-75)

  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Sat Sep 9, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Now that the Arizona Diamondbacks have figured out a way to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, Brandon Webb will try to do the same.

Arizona’s ace takes the mound seeking his first career victory over St. Louis as the teams continue their three-game series at Chase Field on Saturday.

The Diamondbacks (66-75) won Friday’s series opener 13-1, handing the Cardinals (75-65) their most lopsided loss since a 15-3 defeat to Atlanta on July 17. The win was only Arizona’s fifth in its last 20 meetings with St. Louis.

The Cardinals, who still own a 5 1/2 -game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central, have not lost consecutive games to the Diamondbacks since April 19-20, 2003.

Webb (14-6, 3.14 ERA) is 0-3 with a 5.95 ERA in four career starts against the Cardinals and seeks to improve upon that when he starts Saturday’s game.

The right-handed sinkerballer has struggled lately, going 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA in his last four starts. Webb gave up five runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 5-3 loss to Washington on Sunday.

He had a 3-1 lead before allowing four runs in the eighth inning.

“All I had to do is get a double-play ball,” Webb said. “They hit them at guys for six innings. Then they ended up hitting two in the hole after that. That’s the way it’s going right now for the whole team.”

Webb has been stellar at Chase Field all season, going 8-1 with a 2.86 ERA for the best home winning percentage in the NL. He’s also riding a four-game home win streak.

The Cardinals counter with their own 14-game winner in Jason Marquis (14-13, 5.73), who looks to break out of his road funk and win at Chase Field for the first time.

Marquis opened the season 5-2 with a 5.00 ERA in his first eight road starts, but is just 1-5 with a 5.64 ERA in his last six outings away from Busch Stadium.

The right-hander has pitched well in three career games at Arizona, but has yet to record a decision there. He has a 1.62 ERA at Chase Field—allowing one run in each of his three outings—and is 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA in six career games against the Diamondbacks overall.

Marquis gave up six hits and two runs in seven innings of a 4-1 loss to Washington on Monday—his longest outing since July 23. He is 2-6 with a 6.10 ERA in his last eight outings.

Diamondbacks left fielder Luis Gonzalez had three hits on Friday, including his 48th double to break his own club record of 47 set in 2000. It was also his 543rd career double, tying former San Diego star Tony Gwynn for 20th on the all-time list.

Afterwards, the 39-year-old left fielder made it clear he isn’t ready to walk away even though the Diamondbacks are unlikely to pick up a $10 million club option for 2007.

“I want to stay here,” Gonzalez said. “There’s no secret about that.

“I don’t have any control over it,” he said. “I had an awful first half, and hopefully the second half kind of dictates that I’ve still got a lot of gas left in the tank, and hopefully it carries over.”

Gonzalez is batting .457 (16-for-35) with five homers and eight RBIs in his last eight games against the Cardinals.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Marquis CIN vs. B. Webb TEX
14-16 Record 16-8
6.02 ERA 3.10
96 K 178
75 BB 50
1.52 WHIP 1.13


Saturday, Sep 9