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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, July 3 (All times Eastern)
Arizona Diamondbacks (35-51) at Pittsburgh Pirates (44-40), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Brandon McCarthy (2-10, 5.11) Pittsburgh - Vance Worley (2-0, 1.74)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates look to continue their dominant play of late when they try for a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday from PNC Park.
The Pirates have won five of six and 10 of their last 13 games, and took this series with Wednesday's 5-1 win. Charlie Morton was on the mound for the Pirates and held Arizona to a run and five hits in six innings. The right- hander won his third consecutive start at PNC Park.
"He stayed focused and kept making pitches," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Morton. "The command was a little bit of a struggle, but he found what worked. He just moved the ball around with what he had tonight."
Justin Wilson, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
Young prospect Gregory Polanco hit a two-run homer, Starling Marte knocked in two runs and Jordy Mercer finished with three hits and a run scored for Pittsburgh, which has won each of the last four series and eight of its last 10.
Polanco, who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on June 10, has reached base safely in 19 of his first 21 big league games.
Andrew McCutchen had two hits Wednesday and is batting .339 with 32 RBI at home this season. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games versus Arizona, and left late in the game Wednesday with a sore foot. The reigning National League MVP and June NL Player of the Month fouled a pitch off his left foot in the eighth and it doesn't appear to be serious.
Marte has hit safely in all 12 career games against the D-backs.
The Pirates will also host Philadelphia on this 10-game homestand (5-1) and hope Vance Worley can pitch them to a sweep tonight. Worley is 2-0 with a 1.74 earned run average in three starts with his new team and hurled seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-2 triumph over the Mets last Thursday.
Worley has lasted at least 6 2/3 innings in every start with the Pirates and will face Arizona for the third time in his career. In two career starts against the D-backs, the right-hander has a 1-0 mark with a 1.00 ERA.
Arizona will try to put the brakes on a three-game losing streak Thursday and has lost six of the past nine games. The club fell to 2-3 on a nine-game trek with last night's loss and starting pitcher Chase Anderson was reached for three runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. It was Anderson's fourth consecutive loss following a 5-0 start.
"He really didn't have fastball command at all," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "His change-up was his best pitch, but you have to command the count better than that."
Paul Goldschmidt had three hits and Aaron Hill drove in Arizona's lone run. Goldschmidt has reached base safely in 23 straight games.
The Diamondbacks will close the trip this weekend with three games in Atlanta and are 3-3 in the past six road games.
Brandon McCarthy will try to string together back-to-back wins when he takes the hill for Arizona Thursday. McCarthy won for the first time since May 3 in last Friday's 2-1 win at San Diego and struck out seven batters in seven innings of work. He allowed one runs and six hits, and did not walk a batter.
McCarthy was 0-5 in his previous nine starts and has allowed at least three in his past six trips to the hill. The right-hander, who is 2-10 overall with a 5.11 ERA, has a 2-4 record in seven road assignments and is winless (0-2) in three career games (2 starts) against the Pirates.
These teams split six games a year ago.
07/03 10:52:15 ET
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