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Four homers most for D-Backs this season

7/4/2003

DENVER (AP) -- Brandon Webb's pitches consistently dipped toward
the dirt, leaving the Colorado Rockies flailing in frustration.

The rookie pitched seven strong innings and Chad Moeller drove
in three runs, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Rockies
8-4 Thursday night for a split of their four-game series.

Moeller hit one of the Diamondbacks' four home runs -- the first
time Arizona has hit four in a game since last Sept. 29, the finale
of the 2002 season. Steve Finley had a two-run homer, and Shea
Hillenbrand and Robby Hammock added solo shots as Arizona won for
the 13th time in 15 games.

Webb (5-2), who threw a seven-hit shutout against Detroit on
Sunday, allowed one run and eight hits. He walked one and struck
out six.

"Sinkers, that's all he throws, with a few changeups and
curves," said Moeller, Arizona's catcher. "He throws right off
the dirt in front of the plate. With Brandon on the mound, we knew
we had a pitcher who was throwing strikes and getting
groundballs."

Arizona manager Bob Brenly said it was "a real testament to how
good his stuff is when big league hitters who pretty much know what
he's going to do still have trouble making contact and elevating
the ball. He's had only four flyball outs in his last two starts."

Webb has allowed three or fewer earned runs while working a
minimum of six innings in each of his 12 major league starts. It's
the longest stretch of "quality starts" to begin a big league
career since Montreal's Steve Rogers had 16 in a row in 1973.

"With Webb pitching, you know it's not going to take a whole
lot of runs," Brenly said.

Webb, whose ERA dropped to 2.04, said his sinker "wasn't biting
as much" because of Denver's thin air, but he still didn't make
adjustments for Coors Field.

"I try to keep the ball down anyway," he said. "I got
groundballs and big outs when I needed them."

Denny Neagle (2-2), who had won his previous two starts, allowed
nine hits and seven runs in just three innings.

"I didn't have it, I let the team down," Neagle said.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said Neagle needs to know when to
ease up.

"When he doesn't have his good stuff and he runs into trouble,
he needs to back off the gas and try a little finesse rather than
throwing harder," Hurdle said. "He got balls up over the plate,
and we dug a hole too deep for ourselves early."

Greg Vaughn hit a solo homer for Colorado off Mike Myers in the
eighth. Charles Johnson connected leading off the ninth and
pinch-hitter Chris Stynes added an RBI single, but he was thrown
out trying to stretch it to end the game.

Colorado's Todd Helton went 0-for-4, snapping his 17-game
hitting streak.

The game was played despite Wednesday night's escalator accident
at Coors Field that injured 32 people. All of the ballpark's
escalators were shut down Thursday for inspection.

Hillenbrand and Hammock hit back-to-back homers off Neagle in
the second for a 2-0 lead.

The Diamondbacks scored five runs in the third, including a
two-run homer by Finley.

With one out, Matt Kata doubled and scored on Finley's 13th
homer, which extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Alex Cintron
and Luis Gonzalez had back-to-back doubles. Hammock had an infield
single and stole second, and Moeller hit a two-run single to
left-center.

In the fifth, Moeller hit a solo homer, his sixth, off Jason
Young to make it 8-0.

Young got his first major league hit, a double leading off the
fifth, and scored on Ronnie Belliard's single.

The Rockies got two runners aboard in the third, fourth and
seventh, but Webb escaped trouble.

Game notes
A second straight Fireworks Night drew 48,560, the Rockies'
second sellout of the season. ... Belliard ranged behind second
base and threw out Hillenbrand in the sixth. ... It was the fourth
time this season the Diamondbacks have hit back-to-back homers. ...
Arizona signed its second pick from the first round of the June
draft, Stanford OF Carlos Quentin, the 29th overall selection.
Quentin, however, was scheduled to undergo "Tommy John" elbow
surgery. Arizona's first 17 picks in the draft are under contract.