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D'backs Pitcher Webb Opens Season 8-0

Forget about beating Brandon Webb. Nobody has even scored against him in his past two starts. The best pitcher in the National League this year, Webb threw his second consecutive shutout in Arizona's 3-0 victory at Cincinnati on Friday night, becoming the first Diamondbacks pitcher to open a season 8-0.

``He gets great late movement, he has that good sinker, and he doesn't give in to the hitters,'' Reds manager Jerry Narron said.

Webb has been every bit the ace the Diamondbacks were hoping for when they signed him to a $19.5 million, four-year contract in January. The 27-year-old right-hander leads the league with a 2.18 ERA and has won 11 of his past 12 decisions.

``I know he's not going 50-0, but he's on quite the roll,'' Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

Webb allowed seven hits Friday and induced 17 groundball outs _ seven to shortstop Craig Counsell, including two double plays _ to become the first eight-game winner in the majors. Webb beat Atlanta 13-0 last Saturday with a four-hitter.

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

Barry Bonds is trying to stay relaxed as he attempts to pass Babe Ruth on the career home run list. But the San Francisco slugger hardly had a chance to hit No. 715 in a 9-0 rout of visiting Colorado.

Bonds went 1-for-2 with an RBI single, an intentional walk and a hit by pitch for the Giants. He has gone 14 at-bats and 19 plate appearances since his last home run, May 20 at Oakland off Brad Halsey.

The seven-time NL MVP remained tied with Ruth at 714 home runs for his fourth straight game, and Ray Durham drove in three runs with a pair of doubles. As they often do, the Giants made an opponent pay for walking Bonds. They have scored 57 runs this season following walks to Bonds.

``Keeping him in the yard is not part of our game plan,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We want to get him out.''

In other NL games, it was: Atlanta 6, Chicago 5; Pittsburgh 12, Houston 5; Milwaukee 6, Philadelphia 5 in 10 innings; Washington 10, Los Angeles 4; Florida 5, New York 1; and San Diego 7, St. Louis 1.

Jason Schmidt (4-2) won his fourth straight decision and Travis Ishikawa doubled twice, singled and drove in three runs for the Giants in his first game since being promoted from Double-A Connecticut.

Bonds was plunked on the first pitch thrown to him by Jeff Francis (3-4) in the first, a 73 mph curveball that hit Bonds in the right thigh and drew loud boos from the crowd.

He grounded out in the third to chants of ``Barry! Barry!'' and then was intentionally walked for the 21st time _ his 45th free pass overall this season _ with one out in the fifth.

Bonds singled to right in the sixth for his 18th RBI, then was lifted for pinch-runner Jason Ellison.

``People are looking at Barry a lot,'' Giants manager Felipe Alou said. ``Right now, Barry himself is getting to be the baseball player he is. He is driving in runs with groundballs and base hits.''

At Cincinnati, Shawn Green hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Arizona. Reds left-hander Eric Milton (2-2) allowed three hits and one run in eight innings, his second start since coming off the disabled list.

``I felt good,'' Milton said. ``Webb was a little better. I had to be perfect, and I wasn't. He's on a roll.''

Braves 6, Cubs 5

At Chicago, Atlanta rallied for three runs in the ninth inning, taking the lead when second baseman Neifi Perez mishandled a relay and then threw it away.

Carlos Zambrano overcame early wildness and held the Braves hitless for 6 2-3 innings before pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit lofted a fly to the right-field wall that Jacque Jones lost in the glare for a double.

Cubs catcher Michael Barrett was behind the plate after appealing his 10-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing melee last week when he punched A.J. Pierzynski of the White Sox.

Marlins 5, Mets 1

At Miami, Josh Johnson (4-2) outpitched Pedro Martinez (5-1) and had a career-high eight strikeouts to lead Florida (15-31) to its fourth straight victory.

Nationals 10, Dodgers 4

At Washington, Alfonso Soriano hit his 17th homer and two doubles, scored three runs and got his NL-leading ninth outfield assist. Brian Schneider went 2-for-4 in his return from the disabled list as the Nationals won their fourth straight and stopped the Dodgers' seven-game winning streak.

Livan Hernandez (3-5) allowed six hits over seven innings to win his second straight start. The Nationals tagged Brett Tomko (5-2) and have won six of seven.

Pirates 12, Astros 5

At Pittsburgh, Jason Bay homered for the fourth consecutive game and drove in four runs, and the Pirates had a season-high 16 hits in sending Houston to its fourth consecutive loss.

Pirates rookie Ronny Paulino had his first four-hit game. Craig Wilson and Jose Castillo also homered against Taylor Buchholz (3-4), who shut out the Pirates for 8 2-3 innings the last time he faced them.

Brewers 6, Phillies 5, 10 innings

At Philadelphia, Prince Fielder hit an RBI single off Tom Gordon (2-2) in the 10th inning to lift Milwaukee.

Ryan Howard had a tying, two-run double in the ninth against winner Derrick Turnbow (2-1), who blew his second save in 16 chances.

Geoff Jenkins had three hits and three RBIs, and Bill Hall hit a two-run shot for the Brewers. With the bases loaded, Brian Shouse retired Chris Roberson for his second career save and first since 2003 with Texas. Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer for the struggling Phillies, 2-8 after a 13-1 stretch.

Padres 7, Cardinals 1

At San Diego, Mike Piazza, Dave Roberts and Adrian Gonzalez homered, and Clay Hensley (3-3) threw eight strong innings for the Padres.
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