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Arizona at Cincinnati

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Webb tosses second straight shutout, goes to 8-0

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- The days Brandon Webb starts are becoming Arizona manager Bob Melvin's favorites.

Webb became the first Diamondbacks pitcher to open a season 8-0 when he threw his second straight shutout, a 3-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

"It's making my job easy," said Melvin, whose only move was inserting Tony Clark as a defensive replacement at first base in the ninth. "I can just sit back and watch. I know he's not going 50-0, but he's on quite the roll."

The sinker-throwing Webb allowed seven hits and induced 17 groundball outs -- seven by shortstop Craig Counsell, including two double plays -- to become the major leagues' first eight-game winner. He beat Atlanta 13-0 on May 20 with a four-hitter.

"Counsell played a great game," Webb said. "Our defense has been awesome. I'm able to relax out there."

Webb, who went into the game leading the NL with an average of one walk per nine innings, matched that and had five strikeouts while earning his 11th win in his last 12 decisions. He was the winner in the Diamondbacks' 7-1 home victory over Cincinnati on May 5.

Randy Johnson started the 2000 season 7-0 for Arizona.

"Brandon Webb did a great job," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "He gets great late movement, he has that good sinker, and he doesn't give in to the hitters."

"The hitter has to be patient, because he's not going to give you anything in the strike zone," Reds third baseman Edwin Encarnacion said.

Arizona's first run came in the second inning on an error by Encarnacion and Shawn Green added a two-run homer, his fourth, in the ninth.

"It was different when Green hit that homer," Melvin said. "That also made it easy. I didn't have to worry about sending him out there unless some runners got on. It gave us some breathing room."

Cincinnati left-hander Eric Milton (2-2), in his second start since coming off the disabled list on May 20, allowed three hits and one run with a season-high nine strikeouts in eight innings.

The Reds were shut out for the second time in the last five games and fifth time this season. They were shut out eight times last season. Detroit beat them 1-0 last Sunday.

The shutout was the fifth for the Diamondbacks, half of what they had last season.

"I felt good," Milton said. "Webb was a little better. I had to be perfect, and I wasn't. He's on a roll. He's 8-0. We couldn't push across a run. We had some opportunities, but he's tough."

Luiz Gonzalez led off the second with single, moved to third on Green's one-out single and scored on Johnny Estrada's chopper that Encarnacion dropped in his haste to throw home.

"I tried to go home, but it didn't happen," Encarnacion said. "It was tough, but I can make that play."

The Reds got runners to third base with one out three times without scoring or even getting the ball out of the infield. Counsell threw out Austin Kearns at the plate in the fifth with one out to effectively kill Cincinnati's biggest threat.

"The bottom of the lineup was coming up, so I knew he'd try to score," Counsell said. "The ball was hit hard enough that I knew I had enough time."

Ken Griffey Jr. kept the score at 1-0 in the seventh by jumping at the left-center field fence to rob Estrada of a home run. It was Griffey's fourth spectacular catch in Cincinnati's last four games.

Notes

  • Arizona OF Eric Byrnes extended his season-high hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the sixth.
  • Gonzalez needs one double to reach 511 in his career and tie former teammate and current Arizona television broadcaster Mark Grace for 36th place on the career list.
  • The Diamondbacks opened a 10-game road trip, tied for their longest of the season.
  • The Reds activated LHP Kent Mercker from the 15-day DL and traded OF Cody Ross to Florida for a player to be named or cash.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Brandon Webb strikes out five and walks one on the way to his eighth win of the season.  (AP)
Brandon Webb strikes out five and walks one on the way to his eighth win of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

B. Webb
IP 9.0
H 7
ER 0
BB 1
K 5
Arizona

S. Green
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, SS4000000 .307
Eric Byrnes, CF4010011 .324
Chad Tracy, 3B4000041 .301
Luis Gonzalez, LF4110001 .286
Conor Jackson, 1B3100111 .289
    Tony Clark, 1B0000000 .169
Shawn Green, RF4122010 .333
Johnny Estrada, C4011000 .313
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000003 .232
Brandon Webb, P3000032 .161
Totals343531109 
Batting
HR - Shawn Green (4, Coffey)
RBI - Shawn Green 2 (17), Johnny Estrada (32)
2-OUT RBI - Shawn Green 2 (7)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Jackson-Counsell-Webb, Hudson-Counsell-Jackson
E - Chad Tracy (3, throwing error)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Brandon Webb (W,8-0) 9700150 2.18
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Webb 106-71
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Webb 16-4
Batters Faced - Brandon Webb 33
Cincinnati Reds
Felipe Lopez, SS4000011 .296
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010011 .310
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4000001 .244
Adam Dunn, LF4030000 .239
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4010003 .294
Austin Kearns, RF3010122 .294
Javier Valentin, C3000003 .222
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3010000 .264
Eric Milton, P2000011 .222
   a- Quinton McCracken, PH0000000 .200
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
Totals310701512 
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Milton in the 8th
Batting
2B - Adam Dunn (7, Webb), Edwin Encarnacion (14, Webb)
SH - Quinton McCracken (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Edwin Encarnacion (12, misplayed grounder), Felipe Lopez (10, misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Eric Milton (L,2-2) 8311090 5.52
Todd Coffey 1222111 1.26
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Milton 89-65, Todd Coffey 26-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Milton 5-12, Todd Coffey 1-1
Batters Faced - Eric Milton 29, Todd Coffey 6
Game Information
Attendance - 33751
Game Time - 2:12
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Greg Gibson