Pirates-Diamondbacks Preview

The Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly were involved in negotiations to make a big splash at the trade deadline, but they felt content to stand pat once that option fell through.

It’s a bold move for a club that’s involved in a packed NL Central race as it looks to avoid a third straight defeat Friday night against the host Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pittsburgh (57-51) reportedly tried to acquire Tampa Bay ace David Price before he eventually went to Detroit in a three-team deal with Seattle.

No other potential moves impressed general manager Neal Huntington, who pointed to the pending returns of outfielder Starling Marte from a concussion and young starter Gerrit Cole from a back injury as reasons for moving forward with the current roster.

"We wanted to add to this club," Huntington said. "We were engaged on a ton of fronts. We felt like we were close a couple of times, but obviously at the end of the day weren’t able to push it across the line.

"In the final decision process, we felt that our best move was to stay as we were at this point."

The Pirates dipped to third place in the Central, 2 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee, with Thursday’s 7-4 loss to Arizona – their second straight defeat following a three-game winning streak.

While Pittsburgh is involved in a playoff race, the Diamondbacks (48-61) were sellers at the deadline and shed some payroll by dealing third baseman Martin Prado to the New York Yankees and Gerardo Parra to the Brewers for prospects.

Arizona looked at the deals as financial moves as it tries to build for the future during a disappointing season.

"When you look at the No. 1 responsibility for all of us, it’s to present a team that contends," chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said. "I like some of the guys on the club, but I like the flexibility that we can get financially."

Jordan Pacheco was in Prado’s spot at third Thursday and went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Andy Marte, in his first major league at-bat since 2010, hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the sixth to break the tie.

Manager Kirk Gibson passed Bob Melvin for the most wins in Diamondbacks history.

"We’d like to do those types of celebrations with a world championship," he said.

The Diamondbacks send Vidal Nuno to the mound seeking their fourth win in five games.

Nuno (0-2, 3.47 ERA) has made four starts since being acquired from the Yankees, with the Diamondbacks losing each. They made defensive miscues behind Nuno on Monday, as two of his four runs allowed were unearned over 6 2-3 innings of a 4-2 loss to Philadelphia.

The left-hander walked three after issuing that same amount of walks over his first three outings with Arizona. Nuno faced the Pirates while with the Yankees on May 18, allowing three runs – two earned – in six innings of Pittsburgh’s 5-3 win.

Pittsburgh will counter with Edinson Volquez, who looks to snap out of his funk.

Volquez (8-7, 3.87) won his last four starts before the All-Star break while posting a 0.90 ERA, but he’s struggled in his two starts since. He gave up five runs and 10 hits in a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 21 before allowing four runs – two earned – and walking four in 4 1-3 innings of the Pirates’ 7-5 win over Colorado on Monday.

The right-hander has been solid in his last six starts against the Diamondbacks, going 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA. However, Volquez has had trouble with Paul Goldschmidt, who is 7 for 14 with a homer and four doubles against him.