Halsey allows four hits over six shutout innings

CHICAGO (AP) -- Brad Halsey is not as intense as the pitcher he replaced, and his manager thinks that is one of his strengths.

The rookie left-hander, acquired in a trade that sent Randy Johnson to the New York Yankees during the offseason, pitched six innings of four-hit ball to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Chicago Cubs 6-0.

Luis Gonzalez and Chad Tracy for Arizona, which has won two straight games by shutout and has not allowed a run in its last 19 innings.

Halsey (7-7) threw 48 of his 73 pitches for strikes and won his third straight decision by striking out two and allowing just one intentional walk.

"He's a calm cucumber out there," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "Nothing seems to bother him out there. At times I don't know what's going on inside of him, but on the outside nothing bothers him and the other team notices that."

After Matt Murton singled to lead off the third, Halsey retired nine straight until Jody Gerut led off the sixth with a double, starting Chicago's only threat against him.

Jerry Hairston sacrificed Gerut to third and Ronny Cedeno struck out. Halsey intentionally walked NL batting leader Derrek Lee and then hit Aramis Ramirez with a pitch to load the bases before he got Michael Barrett to hit into a force.

"I'm just commanding my fastball better and gaining confidence with each outing," Halsey said. "I just try to go out there and figure out what works for me. I know that being aggressive and getting ahead of hitters is the way I have to pitch to be successful."

Tim Worrell pitched a scoreless seventh, Jose Valverde struck out the side in the eighth and Greg Aquino worked the ninth to complete the five-hitter.

Arizona's Shawn Green had four hits, including a triple. Tracy and Gonzalez each added doubles and Luis Terrero had a two-run single in the ninth.

"You're always looking for timely hits, as many hits as you can get and good pitching," Tracy said. "Halsey kept up his end of the deal and we hit the ball well, too."

Jerome Williams (3-4) allowed one run and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking four. He made his sixth start with the Cubs since being acquired from San Francisco on May 28.

He allowed Tracy's solo homer in the second and then pitched out of trouble until he loaded the bases in the sixth and was replaced by Will Ohman.

Ohman forced Green at the plate on Halsey's bunt and got Craig Counsell to ground out to end the inning but allowed Gonzalez's two-run homer, his 13th, in the seventh to make it 3-0.

"We were in trouble all day and it's hard to keep getting out of trouble," Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. "It seemed like they had a lot of doubles and we issued quite a few walks, but we didn't score either on Halsey."

The Diamondbacks added three more runs in the ninth. Tony Clark
scored on a wild pitch by Michael Wuertz and Terrero singled with two outs to drive in two runs.

Game notes
Halsey's last loss was on June 28 to San Francisco to cap a string of five straight defeats. ... Infielder-outfielder Conor Jackson, the Diamondbacks' top prospect, joined the team in time for the game. He pinch-hit with the bases loaded in the seventh and popped to first. Jackson was batting .354 with 70 RBI for Triple-A Tucson. ... Hairston was back in center field and the leadoff spot after missing Wednesday's game with a bruised left calf. ... Murton started in left field and went 1-for-2 before being replaced by Gerut in the sixth. He is 14-for-29 since his recall from Double-A West Tenn on July 7. ... Gerut's sixth-inning double was his first
hit with the Cubs. He was acquired from Cleveland on July 18.