Colorado (4-5) at Arizona (7-3)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ, US
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Fri Apr 13, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

There’s a big difference between facing the Colorado Rockies at home rather than in the thin air of Coors Field. Brandon Webb knows that as well as anyone.

Webb looks to continue his home dominance over the Rockies on Friday night when the Arizona Diamondbacks open a three-game series against their NL West rivals.

Webb (1-0, 4.50 ERA) struggled in his first start of the season April 2 at Colorado, allowing five runs and eight hits over five innings in a game the Diamondbacks won 8-6. The 2006 NL Cy Young winner was much better Saturday at Washington, limiting the Nationals to one run and seven hits in seven innings while walking three and striking out eight in a 7-1 victory.

“I felt a lot better,” Webb said. “I had a great bullpen before the game. I felt like I was going to be on.”

On is what Webb usually is when he faces the Rockies (4-5) at home. In five starts against Colorado at Chase Field, he’s 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA with six walks and 40 strikeouts. Webb has struck out 10 in each of his last two home starts against the Diamondbacks.

Overall, the right-hander is 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA in 16 starts against the Rockies.

Webb will try to get Arizona back into the win column after it had a six-game winning streak snapped Wednesday with a 3-2 loss to Cincinnati.

The Diamondbacks (7-3) received another strong outing from a starter, as Micah Owings surrendered two runs in 6 1-3 innings. A rotation that boasts a 2.69 ERA is the biggest reason why Arizona is off to its best start since 2000, when it opened 9-3.

“For me, a start is around 30 games,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin told the team’s official Web site. “You have a little bit better idea of the club. We still don’t know what our strengths and weaknesses are going to be. We’ve had some weaknesses defensively early on. Maybe the weather had something to do with that.”

While cautious, Melvin is pleased with his team’s play through 10 games.

“It’s good to see, especially the way we’ve done it, too. We’ve manufactured some runs, hit some home runs and had good pitching. A lot of times, I don’t mention how good the pitching has been.”

Second baseman Orlando Hudson has also been a big factor in the fast start. He’s batting .390 (16-for-41) with two homers, seven RBIs and 11 runs.

Colorado has also gotten excellent starting pitching, posting a 2.76 ERA.

Jason Hirsh’s five-inning outing Wednesday in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers marked the first time this season that a Rockies starter failed to go at least six innings.

A better outing, though, probably wouldn’t have mattered because Colorado managed only two hits off Brad Penny and two relievers as a lack of consistency continued to plague the team. The Rockies are batting .302 (45-of-149) in their four wins and .181 (29-of-160) in five losses.

“We’ve been in every game, ones we’ve won, ones we’ve lost,” outfielder Brad Hawpe said. “But it’s nice to have the pitching that keeps us in games. I think we’re just fine. We’re going to hit just fine.”

Josh Fogg (0-0, 2.84) will make his second start of the season for the Rockies on Friday. He pitched very well in his season debut, giving up two runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings Saturday in Colorado’s 3-2 loss at San Diego.

Fogg is 5-0 with a 4.27 ERA in eight starts against Arizona.

The Diamondbacks won 12 of 19 games against the Rockies last season, including seven of 10 at home.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Fogg PHI vs. B. Webb TEX
10-9 Record 18-10
4.94 ERA 3.01
94 K 194
59 BB 72
1.53 WHIP 1.19