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Webb solid again in win over Rockies

Webb solid again in win over Rox

DENVER -- Before his start Saturday night, much was made of Brandon Webb's struggles against the Rockies.

After his performance in the D-backs' 7-2 win at Coors Field, chances are the storyline will be different the next time around.

In six innings of work, Webb (2-0) held the Rockies to two runs, one earned, on five hits. The right-hander walked one and fanned five.

"That would be awesome," Webb said of the possibility of not being asked about his struggles against the Rockies in 2007. "Hopefully this is the start of some good things to come. I kind of made some adjustments and hopefully I can continue that. I think I mixed it up maybe a hair more than I had been. I felt like I threw a lot of offspeed pitches, first-pitch curveballs and that kind of kept them off-balance and threw some changeups for strikeouts."

Last year, Webb was 1-3 with a 5.77 ERA in six starts against the Rockies. The one win was a big one as he pitched Arizona past Colorado on Sept. 28 in the game that clinched a postseason berth.

Saturday's game didn't have nearly the importance, yet it must have been nice for Webb to put the "can't beat the Rockies" talk to bed early in the campaign.

"I think Webby can pitch against anybody," catcher Chris Snyder said. "That's why he's one of the top pitchers in the game. He can pitch. The guy has great stuff."

Offensively, the D-backs continued what's been a trend the past few games of working deep counts and getting good pitches to hit. Saturday that resulted in three home runs to push their Major League-leading total to 10.

Last year, the young D-backs lineup had a tendency to grind at-bats early and late in a game, but tended to hit a lull at the midpoint. Now, with a year of experience under their collective belts, the young hitters seem to have a better idea of how pitchers are going to work them.

"Offensively, we're getting a lot stronger at-bats throughout the game this year," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "We'll see where it goes from here, but we feel a lot better about our offense right now, we're scoring some more runs and it seems like our at-bats are getting a little better, a little deeper."

The end result of at-bats like that throughout the game is the D-backs are able to build on their leads rather than grab and early lead and hold on for dear life like they did so often last year. The Rockies certainly noticed the difference.

"They swung the bats very well," Colorado first baseman Todd Helton said. "You gotta give them some credit. They took it to us. They didn't let up once they got the lead, and we weren't able to respond."

Chris Young started the scoring for the D-backs when he laced a Jeff Francis fastball into the seats in left-center five pitches into the game. It was the first of two homers on the night for Young and the 10th leadoff homer of his short career.

"He affects the game in the leadoff spot a little differently than most guys do," Melvin said of Young. "A leadoff homer a lot of time has a significant impact on the game. He's got a chance to be a special player."

Young gave the D-backs a little breathing room in the sixth when he hit a two-out, two-run homer on a changeup from Francis to push the Arizona advantage to 5-2. The homer marked the first non-solo homer of the year for the D-backs. For Young it was the sixth two-homer game of his career.

"We expected to do a lot more offensively this year," Young said referring to a team that finished 14th in the National League in runs scored in 2007. "A lot of guys are having good at-bats and that's all you can ask for, and if you have enough good at-bats in a row you're going to put some runs on the board."

An example of the kind of consistent at-bats the D-backs have put together is they have gotten a runner on base in all 18 innings of this series.

"We're still a young team and we're going to have our moments, but I'm liking what I'm seeing," Arizona hitting coach Rick Schu said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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