DENVER (AP)—Brandon Webb changed things up a bit against the one team that’s been his nemesis.
Instead of relying on his sensational sinker, the Arizona ace counted on his curve. The change in tactics worked as he kept the Colorado Rockies off balance in the Diamondbacks’ 7-2 win Saturday night.
Webb (2-0) allowed five hits over seven innings, giving up just one earned run.
So much for his troubles in spring training, where Webb allowed 17 earned runs in 18 innings spanning five spring starts.
“There’s not a whole lot of intensity in spring training,” said Webb, who’s now 9-7 lifetime against Colorado. “But it’s turned up three or four more notches in the regular season. You’ve got to dial it up. They’ve got a great lineup. It feels good to finally get a good start against them.”
The Diamondbacks crashed yet another Rockies celebration, spoiling the unveiling of Colorado’s NL championship banner Saturday night.
Colorado showed video highlights of its run to the NL championship before the game, and then unfurled their banner just above the left-field scoreboard.
But Chris Young quickly put a damper on the festivities, hitting his 10th career leadoff homer. He also smashed a two-run homer in the sixth inning, for the sixth multi-homer game of his career.
Both homers came off of Jeff Francis on changeups that hung over the plate.
“This year I’m trying to adjust and be ready for those offspeed pitches,” Young said.
Conor Jackson returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper respiratory infection and had three hits, including an RBI double in the fifth.
Justin Upton had a solo homer in the second inning, his third of the season, and two singles.
If this had been last season, manager Bob Melvin might have been tempted to give Upton a break before coming into the series. But he didn’t want to mess with his confidence.
“It’s awesome for your manager to think of you a certain way and that you’re a gamer,” said Upton, who’s hitting .400 this season.
The Rockies, who finished off the regular season last year by winning 14 of their final 15 games, have now dropped four in a row. Colorado is last in the majors with eight runs.
“We have to play with the mind-set that we’re good, we’re going to make plays, we’re going to get hits, we’re going to execute and we’re going to make pitches,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s what we’ll come back and do.”
Hurdle was bothered by the Rockies’ lack of crispness in the field. Reliever Kip Wells had an error in the eighth that led to two runs.
The Rockies had the best fielding percentage in baseball last season.
“It’s not acceptable, we need to play better,” Hurdle said. “We know that. It was sloppy. We’re not clicking at any specific area right now. That’s always going to raise your eyebrows at times.”
Francis (0-1) didn’t make the most of his mulligan, giving up five runs and 12 hits in 6 1-3 innings. The southpaw had his rough opening-day outing wiped away by a rainout against St. Louis.
“They made me pay the price for my mistakes tonight,” he said.
Todd Helton homered for the second straight game, a solo shot in the first. He also had a double and has now hit safely in all five games.
After going hitless with four strikeouts on Friday, Matt Holliday stayed late to take extra cuts in the cage, and then arrived early Saturday to take even more swings.
Holliday, the reigning NL batting champ, had better contact, lining a double to left in the third to break a 1-for-15 slump. He added a single in the eighth.
However, Holliday also had two base hits taken away thanks to nifty plays by Webb and Mark Reynolds.
Young prevented a big inning in the sixth with a running catch on Chris Iannetta’s deep drive to center. Judging by Webb’s body language, he thought it was trouble.
So did Melvin.
“When it was hit off the bat, at the very least I thought it was over his head,” Melvin said. “And then you turn and look and he’s already running. He was in full gait when you looked up, and he made it look easy.”
Melvin said before the game that he isn’t in a hurry to rush Randy Johnson back to the team. The 44-year-old lefty is trying to come back from his second back surgery in less than a year. Johnson, who’s currently on the disabled list, is scheduled to make another start Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz. … SS Troy Tulowitzki went 0-for-5 on Saturday and is now hitless in his last 18 at bats. … Rockies RHP Luis Vizcaino was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a right shoulder strain. The team called up RHP Ryan Speier to replace him.