Los Angeles (44-33) at Arizona (44-34)

  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Wed Jun 27, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ dominance of the Arizona Diamondbacks has helped them vault to the top of the tightly contested NL West.

The Dodgers hope to increase their division lead as they continue their important four-game series with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

Los Angeles (44-33) got a pinch-hit home run from Tony Abreu - the first of his career - in the 10th inning Tuesday to beat Arizona 6-5 and move into first place in the NL West - a half-game ahead of the Diamondbacks (44-34) and San Diego.

The Dodgers have climbed to the top of the division by winning six of seven games over Arizona this season, including all four on the road.

“We know we’re just as good as they are, and we know we can beat them,” said Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, who hit his fifth homer of the season on Tuesday. “It just comes down to a key hit here, a key hit there.”

Derek Lowe (8-6, 3.14 ERA) has been stellar for Los Angeles lately, and he’ll look to put an end to his woes at Chase Field when he takes the mound on Wednesday.

Lowe is 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last six starts, holding opponents to a .154 batting average in those games.

He gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-3 win at Tampa Bay on Friday to win his second straight, and has not won three straight starts since winning four in a row May 21-June 6 of last season.

“This guy has probably pitched well enough to have 11 or 12 wins so far this season,” manager Grady Little told the team’s official Web site. “He certainly deserves a better fate than what he’s gotten so far this year.”

The right-hander has won his last three starts away from Dodger Stadium, posting a 2.95 ERA in those games, and has not won four straight road outings since June 17-Aug. 30, 2002.

Lowe has not had much luck at Chase Field in his career, though, going 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA lifetime in five starts.

He has yet to make a start against the Diamondbacks this season, but went 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four outings against them a year ago. He’s just 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA in nine career starts against Arizona.

The Diamondbacks counter with Brandon Webb (7-5, 3.24), who looks to bounce back from a tough defeat and continue his dominance against the Dodgers.

Webb fell victim to some defensive gaffes his last time out, as Baltimore scored four runs during a three-error second inning on Friday. Overall, the right-hander gave up seven runs - three earned - six hits and had seven strikeouts in five innings of a 7-1 loss, his shortest outing since tossing five innings on opening day.

Despite his loss to the Orioles, the reigning Cy Young Award winner is still 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA in his last six starts.

Webb has not lost consecutive outings since dropping three in a row last June 10-21, and he has not lost to Los Angeles since 2004. He has won his last four starts over the Dodgers, posting a 1.52 ERA in those games.

Webb gave up one run and four hits in seven innings of a 9-1 win at Dodger Stadium on April 30 - Arizona’s only win over Los Angeles this season - and is 6-3 with a 3.39 ERA in 11 career starts against the Dodgers.

The Diamondbacks have lost two straight following a stretch when they won seven of nine.

Eric Byrnes led off Tuesday’s first inning with his team-high 13th homer, and is batting .529 (9-for-17) lifetime against Lowe.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Lowe TEX vs. B. Webb TEX
12-14 Record 18-10
3.88 ERA 3.01
147 K 194
59 BB 72
1.27 WHIP 1.19


Wednesday, Jun 27