Dbacks open home series against Reds, hope to end losing streak

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PHOENIX -- Brandon Webb's superb season has fueled the Arizona Diamondbacks' chase for their second consecutive NL West title.

But the right-hander's recent struggles have had an equally big impact on the club's flagging playoff chances.

Making his fourth attempt at his 20th win of the year, Webb looks to snap his three-start losing streak and the Diamondbacks' season-high six-game skid as the team hosts the Cincinnati Reds tonight.

Webb leads the NL in wins with 19 and ranks near the top of the league in ERA, strikeouts and opponents' batting average.

He helped Arizona put together the majors' best record through April and kept the team close in the race for the division crown.

However, Webb's poor pitching in his last three outings has taken a toll on the reeling Diamondbacks.

Since the right-hander's last win August 21st, Webb is 0-3 with a 12.51 ERA over three starts.

Arizona is 4-14 since Webb's most recent victory and the Diamondbacks have dropped 3 1/2 games behind Los Angeles for the NL West lead.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)