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(Thursday, August 9th)
Final Score: Arizona 6, Pittsburgh 3
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Jason Kubel hit a pair of two-run homers and the Arizona Diamondbacks took down the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-3, to split a four-game series.
Wil Nieves also hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks, who went 6-4 on a 10-game road trip. It was Arizona's first winning road trip since May 14-20.
Arizona starter Joe Saunders (6-8) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.
Michael McKenry, Jordy Mercer and Starling Marte each had an RBI for the Pirates.
Wandy Rodriguez (7-11) allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings to take the loss. He fell to 0-2 as a member of the Pirates.
Kubel's first homer of the game came in the first inning. Aaron Hill hit a one-out double and scored on Kubel's blast to right.
Pittsburgh responded with three runs in the second to take the lead. Gaby Sanchez and Neil Walker hit back-to-back singles to put men on the corners. McKenry followed with an RBI single to left. The runners advanced to second and third on Travis Snider's groundout. Mercer's sacrifice fly tied the game. Rodriguez then hit a grounder that deflected off the leg of Saunders and went to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Saunders covered first but missed the bag with his foot, allowing Rodriguez to reach and McKenry to go to third. Marte's RBI single to right put Pittsburgh up, 3-2.
"I was making pretty good pitches. They were still finding holes," Saunders said. "I just kept telling myself, 'Hey, keep making good pitches and keep pounding the strike zone and it's going to start going your way.' I'm going to try to stay as positive as I could."
The Diamondbacks scored two runs in the sixth and seventh to take the lead back. In the sixth, Chris Johnson singled and scored on Nieves' blast to left.
"I hung a breaking pitch [to Nieves] and he hits it for a home run. I feel bad," Rodriguez said.
In the seventh, Jared Hughes gave up an infield single to Hill. Kubel followed with a homer to center to make it a 6-3 contest.
David Hernandez and J.J. Putz tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, to seal the victory.
The Pirates went 4-3 against the Diamondbacks this season...Diamondbacks shortstop Willie Bloomquist missed the game with back stiffness...Rodriguez was dealt to Pittsburgh in a July 24 deal that sent three minor-leaguers to Houston. He fell to 3-6 in nine career starts against Arizona...McKenry extended his hitting streak to nine games...Putz picked up his 21st save of the season.
08/09 23:27:49 ET
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