The Arizona Diamondbacks’ six-game winning streak ended Tuesday, but now they hope their ace can help them start another one.
The Diamondbacks (82-64) outscored their opponents 42-25 during their recent run before falling 2-1 to the Giants (66-79) on Tuesday. The loss, combined with the Padres’ 9-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, shrank Arizona’s division lead over San Diego to 2 1/2 games.
Chris Young scored Arizona’s lone run on his 30th homer, a Diamondbacks rookie record. He’s hit three homers against the Giants this season, but is batting only .220 in 13 games versus them.
Now, the Diamondbacks are hoping Webb (15-10, 2.91 ERA) can carry them to a series win.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner won for the first time in three starts on Friday, allowing two runs in six innings of a 4-2 victory over St. Louis. He had dropped consecutive starts after winning six straight, a stretch that included a 42-inning scoreless streak.
Webb, who leads the NL with 210 innings pitched, threw a season low-tying 86 pitches Friday, his fewest in a win this season.
“I just think after that long stretch and then a couple games we still extended him, after that I was comfortable with getting him out of there then,” manager Bob Melvin told the Diamondbacks’ official team Web site.
He needs one win to match his career high, set last season when he was 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA.
Webb is 8-5 with a 3.12 ERA in 17 career starts versus the Giants. He scattered six hits over seven innings in a 1-0 home win on June 6 in his lone start against them this season, and improving to 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in his five outings against them.
The last-place Giants have won four of their last six overall and four of six against Arizona. Dan Ortmeier scored the go-ahead run after tripling to start the eighth inning.
San Francisco will give the ball to Jonathan Sanchez (1-3, 5.06), who is coming off his longest career outing. In just his second start this season and the sixth of his career, he allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings without, but didn’t get a decision in the Giants’ 5-4 win over the Dodgers.
Sanchez, who made 29 relief appearances this season, is hoping he can become a full-time starter.
“It’s something I want to do,” he told the Giants’ official Web site. “I want to come to spring training all ready and stay in the rotation.”
Sanchez started against the Diamondbacks on Sept. 27, allowing four runs - two earned - in six innings of a 6-3 loss. He’s also thrown two scoreless innings of relief against them in his brief career.