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Webb, D-Backs drop series finale
05/24/2004  4:11 PM ET
MIAMI -- Randy Johnson had a quality encore Sunday to follow his perfect game; Brandon Webb was not so fortunate Monday afternoon.

After pitching seven shutout innings against the Braves in his last outing, Webb was touched up for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings as the Diamondbacks lost to the Marlins, 13-5, before 10,214 at Pro Player Stadium.

The loss dropped the Diamondbacks to 17-27 before opening a six-game swing on the West Coast. They lost three of four games to the Marlins with Johnson's victory the lone ray of sunlight.

"Randy Johnson has been consistent, but everyone else has been hit or miss," manager Bob Brenly said of his starting pitching staff. "It was encouraging to see the way the guys were swinging the bats today, but you can't score 10 runs every night. We need the bullpen and the starters to go out there and stop somebody once in a while."

Brenly paused, looking down at a scorecard of the game.

"At some point, it gets discouraging for the offense, too," he said. "It's tough enough to hit and score runs against some of the pitchers we've been seeing. But looking up at 10 runs makes it doubly tough."

   Brandon Webb  /   P
Born: 05/09/79
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 230 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

Despite having one of the league's better earned run averages, Webb fell to 2-4 on the season. He allowed seven hits and walked five before being relieved by Elmer Dessens in the sixth inning.

"I don't know why, but his inability to throw strikes and the walks obviously hurt," Brenly said. "He was behind in the count to just about every hitter."

Webb is known for his distinguished sinker, but he said he had trouble throwing it for strikes.

"The walks were huge," he said. "Maybe it's something mechanical, maybe it's something I need to work on in the bullpen."

Said Brenly: "I don't care how good your sinker is. When the hitter knows you're going to throw it and he can start that bat a little bit early and open that front side a little bit, everybody becomes hittable."

Catcher Brent Mayne said Webb's control difficulties led to all of his problems.

"He got behind early and had to come in and they were ready," he said.

   Steve Finley  /   CF
Born: 03/12/65
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L

Still, the Diamondbacks exploded for 11 hits, with Danny Bautista, Steve Finley and rookie Scott Hairston, who was starting for the injured Matt Kata, hitting home runs. Rookie Chad Tracy contributed three hits.

"It was one of our better hitting days, even though it didn't show on the scoreboard," Brenly said. "We hit some balls hard up and down the lineup. Just about everybody swung the bat well today."

The Marlins packaged all of their damage against Webb in the second and sixth innings.

In the second, Webb walked the first two batters, then wild-pitched them up a base. Alex Gonzalez followed with a double, with one run scoring and Finley's misplay in center field allowing the second run to cross.

Ramon Castro, who came in as a .136 hitter, then smacked a run-scoring double. Juan Pierre, behind 0-1 in the count, scored Castro with a two-out single.

The score remained 4-0 until Hairston connected on a 3-2 pitch from Carl Pavano. The home run to left-center field, estimated at 400 feet, was Hairston's first Major League hit. The ball was retrieved and Hairston tucked it away.

"It's something I didn't expect," Hairston said of his homer. "It came so fast. The count was 3-2 and I was just trying to hit a line drive somewhere."

The Marlins put the game away for good against Webb in the sixth. Jeff Conine started a three-run burst with a one-out home run. Hee Seop Choi and Gonzalez walked and came home when Castro lined a 2-2 pitch to left for a double.

   Elmer Dessens  /   P
Born: 01/13/71
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 200 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

That was it for Webb, but Dessens escaped further trouble.

The Diamondbacks closed the gap in the seventh when Shea Hillenbrand opened the inning with a double and Finley jumped on Pavano's 3-2 pitch for a 377-foot home run to right field -- his league-leading 14th long ball of the season. Bautista followed with a single, but the visitors couldn't generate anything more.

Pavano left after seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk.

The Marlins reached Randy Choate and Mike Koplove for six runs in the eighth, highlighted by Pierre's triple with the bags full -- giving him four RBIs for the game.

The visitors struck for two runs in the ninth. Bautista followed Finley's single with a home run, his sixth of the season.

Still, the Diamondbacks dropped 10 games under .500 with the loss.

"We've got some great players in this locker room," said Tracy. "In my opinion, all we need to do is relax and play. Get rid of this unneeded pressure and we'll be fine."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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