PHOENIX (AP) -- Hoping to rouse his slumping team, Arizona manager Bob Melvin called a clubhouse meeting three hours before Saturday's game.
All he really needed to do was pencil Brandon Webb's name onto his lineup card.Webb threw his eighth career shutout and the Diamondbacks snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night."As far as the meetings go, you've got to know your timing too -- who's pitching on a particular day," Melvin said.Webb (10-2) scattered six singles in his second complete game of the year and 14th of his career. He struck out eight and hit two in a crisp 1:52 outing, the shortest game in Chase Field history.Webb's performance came at a critical time for the NL West leaders, who had dropped nine of their last 11 games."That's kind of what the No. 1 ace does -- he comes in and does that, usually stops the bleeding," Webb said.The Diamondbacks have been struggling to score during the slump. But they broke out with four solo homers -- two by Mark Reynolds and one apiece by Justin Upton and Chris Young."It was good to get back on the winning side of things," said Reynolds, who also made a sprawling over-the-shoulder catch to rob Dmitri Young of a ninth-inning hit.All of the homers came off Jason Bergmann (1-2), who gave up four runs and seven hits in eight innings, his longest outing and first complete game. He struck out eight and didn't issue a walk for the first time this season."I was very happy with my outing except for the home runs," Bergmann said.Bergmann pitched well enough to win against most pitchers. Webb isn't most pitchers.The 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner had lost back-to-back starts after winning his first nine. But he dominated the Nationals, whose .233 batting average is worst in the NL."It's not only against us," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "I mean, that's why he won the Cy Young Award. That's why he's so tough. We're just one more team that falls in front of him."Webb needed only seven pitches -- all of them strikes -- to retire the Nationals in the first. The Nationals put a man in scoring position only three times.Webb threw a season-high 113 pitches. The last was a changeup in the dirt to strike out Willie Harris."I was really contemplating taking him out for the last inning, but he's earned the right to go out there and have a chance to throw a complete-game shutout," Melvin said.Webb shaved his ERA to 2.69 from 3.01.Bergmann pitched almost as well as Webb. Bergmann's scoreless streak reached 21 innings before Reynolds homered onto the walkway above left-center field bleachers in the second.Bergmann retired 14 of the next 16 batters before Upton hit his eighth homer into the left-field seats to put Arizona ahead 2-0 in the seventh.Reynolds followed with a drive to left for his second two-homer game this year, the first coming on April 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Young added a solo homer, his 12th, in the eighth.The four homers were one more than the total allowed by Bergmann in his first five starts."I felt really good," Bergmann said. "I felt real strong all game. Everything was working. I had good control with my slider, except for four pitches."
At 1:52, it was the shortest game in Chase Field history, topping the previous record by two minutes. ... Acta said C Jesus Flores was "fine" on Saturday but kept him out of the lineup. Flores left Friday night's game with dizziness and nausea after being hit by a pair of foul tips to the head. ... Arizona 1B Conor Jackson had an MRI exam on his right quad and didn't play. He's likely to miss three to five days.