Webb dazzles as Diamondbacks drop helpless Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Brandon Webb didn't like how he was throwing early in the game. His legs didn't feel right. The ball didn't feel comfortable when he released it.

Every pitcher should go through these problems.

Webb became the major leagues' first 11-game winner with his second successive effective start, holding Pittsburgh to one run and three hits over seven innings and driving in a run during the Arizona Diamondbacks' 3-1 victory Friday night.

Webb (11-2), coming off a 4-0 win over Washington on Saturday in which he yielded only six singles, didn't allow a hit until Jose Bautista's two-out single in the fifth. The right-hander has permitted only one extra-base hit -- Jason Bay's RBI double in the sixth -- while giving up nine hits and one run in 16 innings over his last two starts.

"That's why he's 11-2, when you have that kind of stuff and can command it, you can go through the lineup quickly," Pirates manager John Russell said.

Webb has needed only 13 starts for his 11 victories, getting a decision every time he has gone to the mound. That comes mostly from pitching deep into games; he has lasted at least six innings in all but one start and seven innings or more eight times.

"It's just the confidence you have when he goes out there," manager Bob Melvin said. "You get a couple of runs early on and you let him do his thing, basically."

Even if Webb struggled for an inning or so figuring out exactly what he was doing.

"My arm felt fine, but the legs were kind of dead-feeling and the ball just wasn't coming out of my hand real good," Webb said. "My curveballs didn't have too much bite. But it progressed after that, I started getting on top of the ball and getting more sink and it ended up being a good start."

Ho, hum. Aren't most of his starts strong ones, especially the ones that follow losses?

The Diamondbacks were coming off a three-game sweep in Milwaukee in which they were outscored 21-5 and had lost eight of 10 and 12 of 16. They also had dropped 11 of 13 on the road.

"I love to do that -- I've had to do it a couple of times this year and I've been fortunate enough to be that guy," Webb said of stopping a streak. "I enjoy doing that. Obviously I don't want to be in those kind of situations but it does happen and I've been fortunate to be able to stop it."

Webb, 29-12 over the last two seasons, struck out three and walked none while throwing 63 of his 95 pitches for strikes. He is 4-0 in five career starts against the Pirates but had not faced them since 2006.

The Pirates' run came when Freddy Sanchez singled and then barely beat left fielder Jeff Salazar's throw to the plate on Bay's double, his first hit against Webb in 15 career at-bats.

Brandon Lyon pitched the ninth inning for his 13th save in 15 opportunities after Tony Pena worked the eighth.

Salazar walked leading off the second and scored on Stephen Drew's two-out double off Ian Snell (2-6), who is winless in 10 starts since April 12. Chris Young tripled and came home on Orlando Hudson's sacrifice fly in the fifth. An inning later, reliever Franquelis Osoria hit Justin Upton with a pitch before he scored on Webb's two-out single, giving the pitcher his fifth RBI of the season.

"It's a blessing having somebody like Webby throwing," Salazar said. "The way he's been swinging it has been helping too. It's like Chris Burke said, `If you drive in more than you give up, you're probably going to win."

Snell, 0-6 during those 10 starts, got seven of his first eight outs on strikeouts but threw 107 pitches over five innings, yielding five hits and two runs, one earned. He struck out nine and walked three.

Snell was struck in the back and left elbow by Chad Tracy's line-drive single in the third, but stayed in the game.

"I think I did all right, I came out more aggressive, throwing my fastball more, and I had them thinking the slider was coming," Snell said. "I'm trying to get back my rhythm."

Snell, considered the Pirates' staff ace when the season started, has lasted five innings or fewer four times in five starts.

Game notes
Pirates C Ryan Doumit played for the first time since breaking his left thumb May 14, and went 0-for-4. ... Pittsburgh had won its previous two and three of four. The Pirates haven't won three in a row since taking six straight from May 6-12. ... The gametime temperature was 89 on a humid night.