Thursday -- D-backs 7, Pirates 4: Marte homers in first Arizona at-bat. Friday -- Pirates 9, D-backs 4: Pittsburgh storms back vs. Arizona bullpen. Saturday -- Pirates 8, D-backs 3: Bullpen falters as hit batters continue. Sunday -- D-backs 3, Pirates 2 (10 innings): Arizona wins on walk-off slide.
Didi on a roll
It is no wonder teams are asking about Didi Gregorius. He has hit safely in five of his last six games with four multi-hit games while getting near-regular time with Chris Owings on the disabled list. He has shown power, speed and defense -- a double, a triple, two homers and two stolen bases. Gregorius has played both second base and shortstop recently, and he intrigues scouts as a player who could be a super sub.
Avast, me hearties
The Pirates are 8-4 since the All-Star break, the second-best record in the National League, and they have closed to within two games of Milwaukee in the NL Central and are one-half game out of the second wild card spot. They have won series over San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers since the break. Former Arizona right-hander Mark Melancon has 10 straight saves since taking over as closer, and Francisco Liriano has given up two runs in 19 inning since the break.
Getty ImagesDenis Poroy
MVPs on similar path
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt, who finished 1-2 in the NL MVP race a year ago, are at it again. McCutchen is slashing .306/.406/.534 with 17 homers, 63 RBIs and a 4.5 WAR. Goldschmidt is slashing .301/.396.545 with 19 homers, 69 RBIs and a 4.4 WAR. Goldschmidt has 39 doubles and nine stolen bases. McCutchen has 30 doubles and 17 stolen bases.
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