The Pittsburgh Pirates missed their most recent chance to hit
the break-even point. Reaching .500 during this series might be a
tall order the way the Arizona Diamondbacks have been playing.
The Pirates go for their fourth straight victory in this matchup
Tuesday night, while the Diamondbacks look to win a seventh
consecutive road game for the first time since 2002.
With a chance for a three-game sweep of Philadelphia, the
Pirates (28-30) lost 7-3 on Sunday, failing to reach .500 this late
in the season for the first time since June 11, 2005. Still,
manager Clint Hurdle’s club continues its 10-game homestand
brimming with confidence following a weekend set that drew the
fourth-most fans (108,807) for a three-game series in PNC Park’s
“It was a great series for our ballclub and the city,” said
second baseman Neil Walker, who is expected to get Tuesday off. “We
played hard and played well against the team with the best record
in the league in front of three great crowds. It’s something to
Kevin Correia (8-4, 3.40 ERA) is a major reason why the Pirates
have hope for their first winning season since 1992. The veteran
right-hander has won his last three outings and will try for sole
possession of the MLB lead in victories Tuesday.
Correia improved to 7-1 on the road with six strong innings in
Wednesday’s 9-3 win against the New York Mets, but he has been far
less effective at home in his first season with Pittsburgh, going
1-3 with a 5.70 ERA in four starts.
“I don’t see any problem with winning games at home,” he told
the Pirates’ official website. ” … I’m comfortable pitching
Correia should be comfortable facing the Diamondbacks (33-27)
after making 14 starts against them over the last four seasons
while with San Francisco and San Diego. He is 4-7 with a 4.98 ERA
in those outings.
Arizona enters this series having won 18 of 23 to vault into
contention in the NL West. The Diamondbacks finished a 4-3
homestand Sunday with a 9-4, 11-inning loss to Washington, but
manager Kirk Gibson’s club opens a seven-game trip after finishing
its last trek with six consecutive victories.
A win Tuesday would give the team its longest road winning
streak since a franchise-record nine-game run Aug. 3-17, 2002.
“We can compete, we’ve always known that,” Tuesday’s scheduled
starter Daniel Hudson told the Diamondbacks’ official website.
Hudson (6-5, 4.22) hasn’t been at his best while allowing 10
runs and 18 hits over 13 innings in his last two starts, but the
right-hander is still 6-1 with a 3.46 ERA in eight starts since
losing his first four outings.
Hudson will face the Pirates for the second time. He struck out
six and allowed one run in 6 1-3 innings in Arizona’s 4-3 road loss
Sept. 19 as Pittsburgh completed its first-ever three-game sweep of
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who hit one of his two
homers in that series off Hudson, is 11 for 22 with five RBIs in
five games this month.
Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young does not have a home run
in his last 79 at-bats on the road, but in 40 career at-bats
against Correia he has hit four out of the park – the most by any
player off Correia.