After a big victory to end a road trip, the Arizona Diamondbacks look to continue their strong play at home when they open a three-game series with ace Brandon Webb on the mound against the San Francisco Giants on Monday.
Arizona (84-66) closed its six-game road trip with a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep. Chris Snyder hit a three-run homer in the second inning for all the runs the Diamondbacks needed.
“This was as close to a must-win game as we’ve had all year,” said left fielder Eric Byrnes. “That’s it. Was it a must-win? No. But this was huge—a really big win for us. Every game from here on out is this way until we clinch.”
Arizona remains in first place in the NL West, two games ahead of the second-place San Diego Padres. The Dodgers are in third place, 4 1/2 games back.
The Diamondbacks now begin a six-game homestand, which also includes another three-game series with the Dodgers. Arizona has won five straight at home and is 46-29 at Chase Field—the second-best home mark in the league.
“I like the fact that we’re going home,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We play well at home.”
Arizona won two of three against the Giants (66-83) in San Francisco last week to begin the road trip.
The Diamondbacks, who have 12 games left in the regular season, will open the homestand with Webb (16-10, 2.99 ERA), who is trying to become the second NL pitcher to 17 wins. San Diego’s Jake Peavy became the first on Sunday by beating San Francisco.
Webb bounced back from back-to-back losses to win his last two starts. The right-hander allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings on Wednesday in a 9-4 win over the Giants.
Webb leads the NL in innings pitched (217), shutouts (3), complete games (4) and also has baseball’s fourth-lowest ERA. He is looking to set a career high in victories after winning 16 games last year.
“The guy gets better every year, which is kind of scary to think about,” said Melvin, whose team is 8-2 in Webb’s last 10 starts.
Webb is 9-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 18 career starts against the Giants. He is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts against them this year.
Kevin Correia (4-6, 3.47) will counter for San Francisco in his fifth straight start and sixth this season. He has won his last three decisions and the Giants have won his last four starts.
The right-hander, who has a 1.98 ERA as a starter, has allowed one run in each of his last two starts, including last Tuesday’s outing against the Diamondbacks. Correia allowed six hits through 5 1-3 innings in that start, but did not receive a decision in the 2-1 win.
“I turned some short innings into longer than they needed to be,” Correia told the Giants’ official Web site. “I could have pitched a couple more innings, but I think I gave up a lot of two-out hits.”
Overall, he is 0-1 with a 2.87 ERA in eight relief appearances and one start against Arizona.
The Giants are looking to end their four-game losing streak. They were swept in a three-game series against the Padres over the weekend, dropping Sunday’s contest 5-1.
Home run king Barry Bonds is not expected to play in this series after the slugger injured his right big toe in Saturday’s loss at San Diego.
Arizona is 5-1 at home against San Francisco.