Mexico routs Webb, Diamondbacks - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Mexico routs Webb, Diamondbacks

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Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 9:36 pm | Updated: 1:00 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

TUCSON - Good thing for the Arizona Diamondbacks that Mexico isn't in the NL West.

Fueled by a chanting, flag-waving crowd, Team Mexico roughed up Arizona ace Brandon Webb in a 19-4 rout of the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

Webb allowed six runs, five earned, in 1 1-3 innings in his spring debut. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out one.

Webb had been scratched from his first start with a sore forearm. But he said his arm "felt pretty great" and that his main problem was rushing his delivery.

"You just get out of your rhythm and out of your comfort zone trying to do too much, and that's probably where I was at today," Webb said.

Jerry Hairston hit a three-run homer and knocked in four runs, his brother Scott Hairston added a two-run shot and Jorge Cantu hit a grand slam and drove in six runs in a rousing tuneup for the World Baseball Classic. Alfredo Amezaga added a solo shot for Mexico.

The Hairstons were born in the U.S., but they're eligible to play for Mexico because their mother is from Hermosillo, Mexico.

The game began at 5:05 p.m. MT, but fans kept pouring into Tucson Electric Park long after the first pitch. The majority of the crowd of 9,407 were rooting for Mexico in a game played 58 miles from Nogales.

"It felt like an away game for us," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

With the game decided in the eighth inning, there was an uproar when a fan paraded an American flag down an aisle behind the Mexican dugout. Fans rose and waved red, white and green Mexican flags in response.

Earlier, fans chanted "Mex-i-co! Mex-i-co!" as the green-shirted Mexicans pounded Webb.

"The fans were awesome," Webb said. "They've got a following for sure."

Mexico touched Webb for an unearned run in the first. Amezaga reached second on third baseman Mark Reynolds' error, moved to third on Jerry Hairston's grounder and scored on Cantu's sacrifice fly.

After the Diamondbacks tied it in the first on Conor Jackson's sacrifice fly, Mexico tagged Webb in the second.

Singles by Scott Hairston and Karim Garcia and a double by Rod Barajas put Mexico ahead 2-1.

Webb walked Freddy Sandoval to load the bases before Amezega knocked in Mexico's third run on a fielder's choice grounder to second base.

Next up was Jerry Hairston, who hammered a curveball onto the grassy hillside beyond the left-field wall to give Mexico a 6-1 lead. That was all for Webb on a cool, windy evening.

Webb said he was more concerned with his arm than the results, and on that count he was encouraged.

"No issues with the forearm," he said.

Mexico left-hander Oliver Perez gave up two runs in 2 1-3 innings. He allowed one hit — a leadoff double to Justin Upton — and a walk and struck out two.

"I was feeling very strong and excited," Perez said. "It was my first game for Mexico, and I was happy. I threw a lot of pitches, but we're winning and that's what counts. That's a really strong lineup."

Perez said he's ready to start Sunday's WBC opener against Australia in Mexico City. The native of Culiacan, Mexico, said he's looking forward to representing his country on the world stage.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm healthy. I'm ready."

Notes:@ Arizona RHP Max Scherzer, who has been slowed by an inflamed right deltoid, threw a bullpen session. The team doesn't know when Scherzer might make his first spring start. There's no hurry because Scherzer is the Diamondbacks' fifth starter, and they might not need him until mid-April. ... Arizona had a run taken off the scoreboard in the fourth when 1B Chad Tracy missed third base. ... Reynolds homered for Arizona. ... Mexico will play the Colorado Rockies on Thursday at Tucson's Hi Corbett Field, then take on the Diamondbacks on Friday in Hermosillo.

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