National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 3 (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (59-51) at Arizona Diamondbacks (48-63), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Francisco Liriano (3-7, 3.97) Arizona - Trevor Cahill (1-8, 5.59)
(SportsNetwork.com) - You hit our guy. We hit your guy. Now what?
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks will be at that contentious stalemate on Sunday afternoon when they meet at Chase Field to close out a four-game series.
Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch on Friday night that fractured his hand, and Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen was struck in the back on Saturday night.
Goldschmidt was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday and is batting .300 with 19 homers and 69 RBI in 109 games this season.
"It hurts (losing Goldschmidt). He's one of the best players on our team for sure. One of the best players in the league," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "There are risks to playing the game. We're very familiar with guys getting hit in the hand."
Arizona reliever Randall Delgado was ejected after hitting McCutchen on Saturday in an 8-3 loss.
"They had all game to retaliate," McCutchen said. "We understand that retaliation is going to happen in this game. But you know, there's a right way to do it. If you're going to hit me, hit me. He hit me square in the spine. If I get hurt, what happens then?"
The Pirates' win Saturday put them 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the chase for the National League's Central Division title, and a half-game up on St. Louis in pursuit of an NL wild card berth. Lefty Francisco Liriano takes the mound for Pittsburgh in Sunday's finale.
He's won two straight starts after a 1-7 run to begin the season and has allowed two runs and eight hits across 14 innings. In his last three starts, his earned run average is 0.95.
"This is a guy who was a huge part of the success we had last year," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's why I felt it was important to get him up and running again."
For Arizona, Trevor Cahill makes his fourth start since return from a minor- league stint.
He was beaten, 3-0, by Cincinnati in his most recent start on Tuesday and is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA since returning.
"He threw the ball better," Gibson said. "He's going to get confidence out of it."
Cahill was 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA against the Pirates in 2013.
On Saturday, McCutchen's RBI single in the eighth sparked a four-run inning and guided the Pirates to the win over the Diamondbacks.
Josh Harrison, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, reached on an infield single to start the eighth and moved to second when Gregory Polanco was interfered with by catcher Miguel Montero. McCutchen then delivered the eventual game-winning single to left-center against reliever Brad Ziegler (4-2).
After Ike Davis grounded out, Polanco and McCutchen scored on Ziegler's throwing error. Brent Morel doubled in the final run before Ziegler was replaced.
Vance Worley was terrific on the mound once again for Pittsburgh. Coming off his first career complete game, he tossed six innings of one-run ball before giving way to a pinch-hitter. Jared Hughes (6-2) got the win for a scoreless seventh.
Arizona starter Chase Anderson matched Worley, yielding a run over six innings, but was betrayed by his bullpen. David Peralta had a two-run homer and drove in all three D-backs' runs.
Pittsburgh took two of three from the D-backs earlier in the year.
08/03 10:35:56 ET