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Rebounding D-Backs rout Cubs
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04/27/2004 10:20 PM ET 
Rebounding D-Backs rout Cubs
Run win streak to three with win over Chicago

Matt Kata throws on to first to complete the double-play in the fourth inning. (Paul Connors/AP)
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PHOENIX -- At times in the season's first two weeks, it seemed the Diamondbacks couldn't do anything right.

When they got a well-pitched game, they didn't hit. When they hit, the pitching struggled.

Tuesday night, for the second straight game, the Diamondbacks clicked on all cylinders as they beat the Cubs, 10-1, in front of 33,781 at Bank One Ballpark.

The Diamondbacks have now won three straight and five of their last six. Before that they had lost 11 of 13 games.

"We're putting it all together and that's what we weren't doing early on," first baseman Richie Sexson said. "We were kind of pitching one day and not hitting and vice-versa. When everybody gets hot, the ball gets rolling and if you can get the other team's defense on their heels all of a sudden balls start falling and things snowball."

The snowball has turned into an avalanche.

In the two games against the Cubs, Arizona has scored 19 runs and collected 25 hits. And the pitchers have allowed one run in 18 innings. And this was against a Chicago club that had won six straight coming into the series.

Arizona starter Brandon Webb (2-1) had his power sinker working as he kept the Cubs in check through seven innings. The right-hander allowed just four hits and walked three while striking out five as he lowered his ERA to 2.10, eight-best in the National League.

"It was just typical Brandon Webb tonight, pounding that sinker in there," Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "He threw just enough changeups and curveballs to keep them honest. He's going to be as good as his sinker is and tonight he had a real good one."

Another thing Webb had was an early lead to work with.

Arizona took a 1-0 advantage in the second when Steve Finley led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. Finley then scored when Chad Tracy hit a tapper to first and beat Todd Hollandsworth to the bag.

That's the way it stayed until the fourth when the Diamondbacks played long ball.

Danny Bautista led off the frame with a double off the center field wall to extend his hitting streak to 19 games. Tracy followed with his first Major League homer over the right field wall, off Cubs starter Sergio Mitre, to give Arizona a 3-0 lead.

Robby Hammock then doubled after Tracy's homer and two outs later, Alex Cintron drew a walk. That ended Mitre's night as Cubs manager Dusty Baker brought in Michael Wuertz to face Gonzalez. The left fielder greeted Wuertz rudely as he smacked a 426-foot home run to center to put the D-Backs up 6-0.

"Everything seems to be coming together," Webb said. "Our pitchers are throwing well, we're hitting the ball, scoring a lot of runs, the defense has been great."

Arizona tacked on a run in the sixth on Hammock's sacrifice fly and two more on Finley's two-run homer in the eighth.

"We say it all the time that hitting is contagious and I think that's what we're seeing right now," Brenly said. "Guys are just putting together one good at-bat after another one and when we get runners on base they find a way to move them up or get them in. That's a good formula for winning ballgames."

The Cubs scored their lone run in the ninth on a solo homer by Todd Hollandsworth. The run snapped a scoreless innings streak by the Arizona pitchers at 20.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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