National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, August 8th
(All times eastern)
Arizona Diamondbacks (56-54) at Pittsburgh Pirates (62-47), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Ian Kennedy (10-8, 4.15)
Pittsburgh - Kevin Correia (8-6, 4.49)
(Sports Network) - Resurgent right-hander Ian Kennedy aims for a fifth
consecutive victory tonight when the Arizona Diamondbacks head back to PNC
Park for the third of four games with the host Pittsburgh Pirates.
A 21-game winner in 2011, Kennedy struggled through the first half of the
season in 2012 and fell to 6-8 overall in his first start after the All-Star
break when he dropped an 8-1 decision to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
He's been stellar since, however, winning four straight starts while allowing
eight runs and 27 hits in 28 1/3 innings and trimming his earned run average
from 4.55 to 4.15.
The start will be the 100th of his major-league career and fourth against
Pittsburgh, which he's beaten once while posting a 2.25 earned run average in
20 innings with 21 strikeouts.
Kennedy is 5-6 in 12 road starts this season.
He's opposed by veteran righty Kevin Correia, who's not lost since June 13 at
The interleague loss to the Orioles reduced the California native to 2-6 after
he'd gone 12-11 last season, but he's responded with six wins and two no-
decisions in eight outings, including a 3-2 defeat of the Cubs at home on July
He was shelled for four runs in two innings of relief at Houston on July 29,
after being pulled from the rotation when the Pirates acquired Wandy Rodriguez
at the trade deadline.
In 24 career meetings with the Diamondbacks, he's 4-8 with a hold, a complete
game and a shutout.
On Tuesday, Chris Johnson hit two homers, including a go-ahead three-run blast
in the eighth inning, as the Diamondbacks rallied for a 10-4 win over the
Pittsburgh went ahead in the seventh when rookie Starling Marte belted a
leadoff home run and Neil Walker added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly for a 4-3
advantage, but Jason Grilli (1-4) failed to hold the lead.
Paul Goldschmidt began the eighth with a double off the Pirates reliever
before crossing the plate courtesy of consecutive singles by Justin Upton and
Johnson then sent a 1-0 fastball over the wall in right-center field, making
"I'm feeling good with myself, seeing the ball pretty well before that, too,"
Johnson said. "I'm just trying to keep it simple."
Brad Ziegler (5-1) earned the win, entering after Walker's sac fly and
inducing Michael McKenry into an inning-ending double play.
Montero added an RBI double in the ninth before Johnson blasted a two- run
homer to center field. The third baseman has five home runs and 15 RBI in
eight games since being acquired from the Astros on July 29.
"The last six outs were very difficult to get tonight," Pirates manager Clint
Stephen Drew went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI for the Diamondbacks, who
had lost three straight, including the opener of the four-game series on
Patrick Corbin got the start and the no-decision for Arizona, allowing two
runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over six innings.
Diamondbacks pitchers have now recorded a season-high eight straight quality
Pittsburgh went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left the bases
loaded in the fifth and runners at the corners in the sixth.
The Pirates, thanks to Cincinnati's loss at Milwaukee, still trail the Reds by
3 1/2 games in the National League's Central Division.
The Diamondbacks have won 60 of 100 games between the teams since they began
playing in 1998, though Pittsburgh won two of three in their lone previous
2012 series in Phoenix in April.
08/08 10:54:32 ET