He liked what he saw. NL West leader San Diego lost. So did Los Angeles, San Francisco and Colorado.
"Not that I was looking at the scoreboard, which I usually don't. I didn't notice that our division lost all across the board," Melvin said sarcastically.
That left the surging Diamondbacks in fourth place, three games behind the Padres. After staggering to an 8-20 record in June, Arizona has won five straight and is poised to sweep a series for the third consecutive weekend. Four games separate the five teams in the NL West.
Saturday night's victory over the Brewers, who have lost five straight, was almost too easy. With Brandon Webb (10-3) outdueling Chris Capuano (10-5) in a showdown of All-Star pitchers, Arizona first baseman Conor Jackson homered twice as the Diamondbacks reached .500 (45-45) for the first time since June 21.
"We know what we're capable of," Jackson said. "We knew that June was a fluke for us. We started off (the season) hot, and I think we're getting right back on track."
The game was billed as a faceoff of All-Stars who came up together through the Diamondbacks' farm system. Arizona dealt Capuano to Milwaukee in 2003 as part of a multiplayer deal for Richie Sexson, who played 23 games for the Diamondbacks.
Webb and Capuano rank among the NL leaders in wins, winning percentage, ERA, innings pitched and shutouts.
But the hyped matchup didn't live up to its billing as the Diamondbacks jumped on Capuano, who hadn't lost in seven starts. Only Webb looked like an All-Star on this night, trimming his league-leading ERA to 2.52 by shutting out the Brewers on six hits in seven innings. Webb, who was lifted after 110 pitches, walked two and tied a season high with 10 strikeouts.
"My arm felt great," said Webb, who added that he relied more on breaking balls than his trademark sinker. "To get runs early, especially off Cappy, who's having a great year, it definitely makes a starter's job easier."
Since giving up a season-high seven runs to Seattle on June 27, Webb has yielded two runs in his last three starts, a span of 23 innings. And that doesn't count Webb's inning in the All-Star Game, when he retired Derek Jeter, David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez.
Capuano (10-5) lasted only 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. He allowed eight runs -- five earned -- and 10 hits.
"I never really could get in a rhythm out there," Capuano said. "I had real trouble locating the ball."
In the second, Capuano gave up three runs but all were unearned. Third baseman Jeff Cirillo's throwing error allowed one run to score and set the stage for two-out RBI singles by Damion Easley and Gonzalez, putting the Brewers in a 4-0 hole.
In the third, Capuano gave up a leadoff home run to Jackson into the bullpen down the left field line. One inning later, Jackson homered again, this time into the left field seats with a man aboard to make it 7-0. It was Jackson's second career multihomer game.
Johnny Estrada followed with his eighth home run to chase Capuano.
"To their credit, they were swinging the bats well and hit a lot of my mistakes," Capuano said.
The loss dropped Milwaukee eight games behind St. Louis in the NL Central, but manager Ned Yost said his team could only worry about salvaging the final game of this series.
"You can't bury your head in the sand," he said. "You get after it again tomorrow."
|Johnny Estrada's fourth-inning homer is the end of the road for Brewers All-Star Chris Capuano. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Gabe Gross, CF||3||0||1||0||1||2||1||.256|
|Jeff Cirillo, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.328|
|Geoff Jenkins, RF||3||1||1||0||1||2||2||.267|
|Carlos Lee, LF||4||0||3||1||0||0||0||.292|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.265|
|Bill Hall, SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.261|
|Geremi Gonzalez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Anthony Gwynn, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|Dana Eveland, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Corey Hart, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.320|
|Dan Kolb, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Damian Miller, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.263|
|Chris Barnwell, 2B-SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.118|
|Chris Capuano, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.128|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||2||0||.278|
|a-grounded out for Gonzalez in the 6th|
|b-popped out for Eveland in the 8th|
|2B - Geoff Jenkins (21, Lyon)|
|RBI - Carlos Lee (74)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Carlos Lee 1|
|DP - Hall-Fielder, Weeks-Barnwell-Fielder|
|E - Jeff Cirillo (1, Wild throw), Prince Fielder (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Chris Capuano (L,10-5)||3.2||10||8||5||1||1||3||3.46|
|HBP - Easley (by Chris Capuano)|
|WP - Dana Eveland (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 95-54, Geremi Gonzalez 21-11, Dana Eveland 22-18, Dan Kolb 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 5-5, Geremi Gonzalez 2-2, Dana Eveland 2-0, Dan Kolb 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 23, Geremi Gonzalez 5, Dana Eveland 8, Dan Kolb 3|
|Eric Byrnes, CF||5||2||2||0||0||0||3||.293|
|Damion Easley, 3B||4||0||2||1||0||1||1||.240|
|Luis Gonzalez, LF||5||0||3||2||0||0||2||.267|
|Conor Jackson, 1B||4||2||2||3||0||1||2||.272|
|Johnny Estrada, C||4||1||2||1||0||1||2||.321|
|Shawn Green, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.301|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.259|
|Stephen Drew, SS||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.000|
|Brandon Webb, P||1||1||0||0||1||0||2||.163|
|a- Andy Green, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.203|
|Brandon Lyon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Edgar Gonzalez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|a-struck out for Webb in the 7th|
|2B - Eric Byrnes 2 (25, Capuano, Capuano), Luis Gonzalez 2 (27, Capuano, Eveland), Johnny Estrada (19, Capuano)|
|HR - Conor Jackson 2 (8, Capuano, Capuano), Johnny Estrada (8, Capuano)|
|SH - Brandon Webb (5)|
|RBI - Damion Easley (23), Luis Gonzalez 2 (41), Conor Jackson 3 (46), Johnny Estrada (48)|
|2-OUT RBI - Damion Easley (8), Luis Gonzalez (14), Conor Jackson 2 (18), Johnny Estrada (19)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Easley-Hudson-Jackson|
|Brandon Webb (W,10-3)||7||6||0||0||2||10||0||2.52|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Webb 110-74, Brandon Lyon 18-14, Edgar Gonzalez 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Webb 5-5, Edgar Gonzalez 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Webb 28, Brandon Lyon 5, Edgar Gonzalez 3|
|Attendance - 26318|
|Game Time - 2:46|
|Temperature - 82|
|Umpires - Home - Ed Montague, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Marvin Hudson|