Webb hopes for a better outing as he again tries to achieve that feat while looking to help the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks maintain their slim lead in the NL West over the surging Dodgers on Saturday afternoon.
Webb (19-6, 3.19 ERA) allowed six earned runs and eight hits while walking five in 3 1-2 innings of an 8-1 home loss to Los Angeles (71-70) on Sunday as the West’s top two clubs split a four-game set at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks (71-69) need Webb to bounce back after they lost Friday’s opener 7-0 to the Dodgers, who have won six in a row since losing eight straight and are within one-half game of the Diamondbacks, losers of eight of 11.
It’s the closest Los Angeles has been to the division lead since the teams were tied atop the standings Aug. 18.
“It’s going to be a big game and we’ve got our ace on the mound,” center fielder Chris Young told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site. “If we lose the game, it’s not going to be the end of the world, but you know you have to go out there and get the win.
Since beating San Diego on Aug. 21, Webb has allowed 12 earned runs in eight innings while losing his last two starts.
“Physically, he’s fine,” Arizona manager Doug Melvin said. “He’s just having trouble getting his ball to go where he wants it to go.”
The right-hander, who had eight straight winning decisions versus Los Angeles before his latest loss dropped him to 10-4 with 2.94 ERA against the Dodgers, doesn’t blame the heat of a playoff race for his recent struggles.
“I don’t really feel any more pressure trying to get to 20,” Webb said. “I think I have plenty of time to get it. I think it’ll come. Just the timing wasn’t real good for this little hiccup.”
Andre Either homered off Webb in last weekend’s meeting and went 5-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs on Friday for the Dodgers, who are batting .320 while outscoring their opponents 40-13 during the winning stretch.
“Our guys are playing with intensity,” Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. “It’s a lot of fun right now.”
Either is 13-for-20 with four doubles, three homers, a triple and eight RBIs over his last five games overall, while going 9-for-18 with four doubles and a home run against Webb.
Billingsley allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 6-2 win over Dan Haren and Arizona last Saturday to start the Dodgers’ winning stretch.
“I struggled a little bit in the first inning and didn’t get into a good rhythm,” said Billingsley, who improved to 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA versus the Diamondbacks in 2008. “I kind of found it and started pounding the zone with all my pitches.”
The right-hander is 4-4 with a 3.96 ERA in nine career starts versus Arizona.
Conor Jackson and Chris Young were responsible for the two hits Friday by Arizona, which looks to avoid a fourth consecutive loss at Dodger Stadium.