Diamondbacks, Red Sox and Rockies win playoff openers

PHOENIX (AP) -- Brandon Webb shut down the Chicago Cubs with his superb sinker, and the Arizona Diamondbacks got home runs from two of their kids in a victory in their NL playoff opener.

PHOENIX (AP) -- Brandon Webb shut down the Chicago Cubs with his superb sinker, and the Arizona Diamondbacks got home runs from two of their kids in a victory in their NL playoff opener.

Stephen Drew homered in the fourth off Chicago ace Carlos Zambrano, who was pulled after six innings and only 85 pitches.

Right after he left, Mark Reynolds homered on the fourth pitch from reliever Carlos Marmol to break a 1-all tie in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Conor Jackson added a sacrifice fly, and the Diamondbacks got two scoreless innings from their strong bullpen.

Webb, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, allowed four hits and struck out nine over seven outstanding innings in his postseason debut. He walked three and hit a batter.

Game 2 is tonight, with Ted Lilly on the mound for Chicago against Doug Davis.


Zambrano gave up four hits, struck out eight and walked one before he was pulled by manager Lou Piniella in a move that could be questioned. Before the game, Piniella said he likely would limit Zambrano's pitch count because he would probably bring him back on three days' rest to pitch Game 4 on Sunday.

Rockies 4, Phillies 2

PHILADELPHIA -- Jeff Francis held the league's highest-scoring team in check, and the Colorado Rockies took advantage of one shaky inning by Cole Hamels to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 in Game 1 of their NL playoff series Wednesday.

Making just the second postseason appearance in the franchise's 15-year history, the Rockies posted only their second postseason victory, the other coming in 1995.

Matt Holliday, his chin still cut up from the face-first slide that won Monday's wild-card tiebreaker over San Diego, hit a solo home run. Colorado carried over its momentum from that victory, and won for the 15th time in 16 games.

Francis, a 17-game winner who came in with a 15.12 ERA against the Phils this season, pitched six effective innings and stayed out of big trouble. He helped to hold the Phillies' top trio of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins to 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts.

Francis gave up four hits and struck out eight, his only blemishes coming in the fifth when Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell hit consecutive homers. Three relievers pitched three hitless innings, with Manny Corpas closing for a save.

Hamels, the 23-year-old All-Star lefty, was outstanding except for one inning. Making his first career start against the Rockies, he allowed three runs and three hits in 6 2-3 innings. Hamels uncharacteristically walked four and fanned seven.


Todd Helton lined a triple to start the second and Garrett Atkins doubled, giving the Rockies an early lead. Yorvit Torrealba's one-out single drove in Atkins.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Hamels got ahead of Tulowitzki 0-2 before walking him to force in another run. But he struck out Holliday swinging on a changeup to leave the bases full, then retired the next 12 batters.

Holliday, the MVP candidate, gave the Rockies an insurance run when he ripped Tom Gordon's pitch into the left-center field seats for a 4-2 lead in the eighth.

Red Sox 4, Angels 0

BOSTON -- Josh Beckett pitched his second consecutive postseason shutout and, backed by a home run from David Ortiz, led the Red Sox over the Angels in their AL playoff opener.

Beckett retired 19 consecutive batters after a leadoff single, allowed just four hits and ran his postseason scoreless streak to 18 innings. The last time he pitched on such a stage, he blanked the New York Yankees to clinch the '03 Series for Florida.

The last pitcher with consecutive postseason shutouts was current teammate Curt Schilling, who threw one for the Phillies in 1993 and Arizona in 2001. Christy Mathewson is the only pitcher with four postseason shutouts; Beckett tied Whitey Ford and Mordecai Brown with three.

Ortiz, who eliminated the Angels with a 10th-inning, series-ending homer in the first round of the 2004 playoffs, homered off John Lackey. Kevin Youkilis set the tone with a homer in the first inning against the Angels ace.


The victory was Boston's seventh straight in the postseason over the California-Anaheim-Los Angeles Angels, having come back from a 3-1 deficit to win in the 1986 AL playoffs and then sweeping them in the 2005 best-of-five first round.

Lackey allowed four runs, nine hits and two walks, striking out four in six innings.

Game 2 will be Friday, with rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka facing the Angels' Kelvim Escobar.

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