Now that Brandon Webb has achieved his pitching milestone, the Arizona ace hopes to help the Diamondbacks improve their slim postseason chances while trying for a third straight victory over the visiting San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
After failing in his three previous attempts, Webb (20-7, 3.28 ERA) finally became the NL’s first 20-game winner after allowing five hits in eight scoreless innings of a 3-2 win over Cincinnati on Friday.
“It feels good to finally get there,” said the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner, who became Arizona’s first 20-game winner since 2002, when Randy Johnson won 24 and Curt Schilling won 23. “The team needed a win, and I needed to get off my slump and get back to where I usually am.”
Webb was 0-3 with a 12.51 ERA during his previous three starts prior to the victory and struggled right along with fellow starter Dan Haren, who shined in a four-hit complete-game 2-0 win over San Francisco on Tuesday.
It was Arizona’s seventh victory in 23 games.
“The last couple of weeks have been a real difficult stretch,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. “But we seem to be playing a little better right now.”
With the Diamondbacks trailing the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by 4 1/2 games with 12 remaining, Webb tries to improve on his 12-5 record with a 3.25 ERA in 25 starts against the Giants.
“Every win right now is a must-win for the whole team,” said the right-hander, who is 3-0 versus San Francisco this season.
Drew, who was in the lineup Tuesday after missing two games because of the death of his grandmother, is 5-for-16 with two homers in his last four games.
After scoring 20 runs during a three-game winning streak, San Francisco (68-83) has totaled one in the first two of the four-game set, while falling to 7-9 in the season series with Arizona.
Rookie Pablo Sandoval had two hits and is hitting .342 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 30 games since being called up from the minors.
Jonathan Sanchez (9-10, 4.47) takes the ball for the Giants after avoiding a seventh straight losing decision by yielding two runs and six hits in six innings of a 5-2 win at San Diego on Friday. It was his first victory since June 29.
“I needed that game,” Sanchez told the Giants’ official Web site.
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 7.24 ERA in three starts versus Arizona this season and 1-4 in six career outings against the Diamondbacks.
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