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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, August 2 (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (58-51) at Arizona Diamondbacks (48-62), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Vance Worley (4-1, 2.54) Arizona - Chase Anderson (6-4, 3.34)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Right-hander Vance Worley could be down to his final audition.
The hurler gets the call for the Pittsburgh Pirates again on Saturday night when they continue a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks with game three at Chase Field.
Regular starter Gerrit Cole is near a return from the disabled list after a prolonged absence, which means someone now in the rotation is near a demotion. Worley took over a starting role after injuries to both Cole and fellow starter Francisco Liriano, and he's replied by posting a 2.27 earned run average across seven starts.
Cole will throw a bullpen session on Saturday and could be back in the big leagues shortly.
Worley tossed a complete game in his most recent outing, logging in at exactly 100 pitches while allowing four hits in a 5-0 win at San Francisco. It's easy to forget, in light of his run with the Pirates, that he was 1-5 in 10 starts with a 7.21 ERA for Minnesota last season.
"He had to fight back. He had to make some adjustments," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's been focused. He's been prepared. He's not doing anything he hasn't done before. His confidence is playing. The command is what's showing up."
Worley was a 10-2 loser to Arizona on July 3 after allowing three runs and four hits in seven innings.
Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch in a ninth-inning pinch-hitting appearance in Friday's game and underwent X-rays that were inconclusive. His status for Saturday's game is up in the air.
"Guys have to try and get outs. What do you want them to do? Just throw it down the middle?" he said. "They pitch inside as a team. We do it too. We want our pitchers to be able to pitch inside."
Arizona sends rookie Chase Anderson to the mound with a chance to reverse his last result against the Pirates.
The right-hander lasted just 3 2/3 innings in a 5-1 loss at Pittsburgh on July 2 after allowing three runs on eight hits and walking three.
In three starts since, he's struck out 21 batters in 19 innings while recording a 1.89 ERA.
On Friday, Jordy Mercer's RBI double sparked a five-run ninth inning as the Pirates took a 9-4 victory over the Diamondbacks. Josh Harrison doubled, tripled and scored twice, while Pedro Alvarez and Travis Snider each drove in two runs for the Pirates.
Tony Watson (8-1) tossed a scoreless eighth to earn the win. Starter Edison Volquez gave up four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
Ender Inciarte hit a three-run home and David Peralta and Mark Trumbo each had two hits for Arizona.
Bo Schultz (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs on six hits in the ninth. Vidal Nuno surrendered just one run and three hits with five strikeouts in six frames. Arizona's bullpen, which entered the game limiting opponents to just five runs in 24 2/3 innings, gave up eight runs on 10 hits and three walks in the loss.
Pittsburgh took two of three from the D-backs earlier in the year.
08/02 11:01:47 ET
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