© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

03/15/09 8:56 PM ET

Webb, skipper pleased with start

Despite numbers, Melvin notes progress in D-backs ace

TUCSON -- A three-batter stretch in the third inning made the numbers look less impressive, but Brandon Webb was pleased for the most part with his start against the Cubs on Sunday.

Webb allowed just one hit the first time through the Cubs order and got two quick outs in the third before the Cubs rallied.

"I kind of lost it there," he said.

Webb gave up a single to Joey Gathright in the inning and then walked Ryan Theriot before Micah Hoffpauir blasted a home run that landed just to the left of the batter's eye in center.

"I was just trying to get ahead of Hoffpauir, and he jumped on the first pitch," Webb said.

Webb's changeup still seems to be a bit of a work in progress. He missed with it, 3-2, to walk Koyie Hill in the fourth inning.

"I threw a changeup, 3-2, to see if he would chase," Webb said. "I was just kind of working on that."

D-backs manager Bob Melvin liked what he saw from his ace.

"I thought he threw the ball as well as he has all spring," Melvin said. "I thought he threw inside better, and his breaking stuff looked better."

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