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Pittsburgh at Arizona

Venue: Chase Field
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A pair of dominant starts has the Arizona Diamondbacks back on track. Giving the ball to Daniel Hudson could help the NL West leaders move another step closer to their first division title in four years.

Hudson looks to become the second Arizona pitcher in as many nights to win his 10th home game as the Diamondbacks continue their series against the light-hitting Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

Since three straight losses trimmed their West lead over San Francisco to five games, the Diamondbacks (89-65) have rebounded nicely behind strong outings from Joe Saunders and Ian Kennedy.

After Kennedy came within one out of a complete game in Sunday's 5-1 win at San Diego, Kennedy struck out a career high-tying 12 and threw eight innings of one-hit ball in Monday's 1-0 series-opening victory over Pittsburgh (68-86).

Kennedy's effort increased Arizona's division lead to 5 1/2 games and lowered its magic number to four.

"This is the most important part, which is winning games, taking away that magic number and clinching here pretty soon," Kennedy said.

One night after Kennedy improved to 10-2 at home and became the NL's first 20-game winner, Hudson (16-10, 3.39 ERA) will try to rebound from his first loss in nearly a month.

The right-hander, who was 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA in his previous four starts, allowed two runs over seven solid innings Wednesday but 3-2 on the road to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hudson has compiled a 1.13 ERA while winning his last three starts at Chase Field, and he's 9-2 with a 2.77 ERA the last 13 times he's taken the mound in Phoenix.

The last time Arizona had two pitchers win 10 at home was 2008, when Brandon Webb and Dan Haren each had 11.

Hudson has no decisions and a 1.35 ERA in two career starts against the Pirates - both coming in Pittsburgh - including Arizona's 8-5 loss June 7, when he allowed three runs - one earned - and three hits over seven innings while striking out seven.

Hudson will now face a Pirates lineup that's totaled four runs and is batting .169 during a four-game skid.

That lack of scoring is nothing new to Tuesday's scheduled starter Charlie Morton (9-10, 3.81), who has the Pirates' second-lowest run-support average at 3.87.

Morton dropped his fourth consecutive start Wednesday, giving up three runs in seven innings of a 3-2 loss to St. Louis that clinched the Pirates' 19th consecutive season with a sub.-500 record.

As disappointed as Morton is about his contribution to that dubious North American professional sports record, he'd like to finish strong in his last two starts of 2011. The right-hander is in unchartered waters, with his 160 2/3 innings far surpassing his previous career high of 97 in 2009.

"The workload, knowing the responsibilities, the expectations, those are all things I need to go through, and I need to face. I've been given that opportunity," Morton told the Pirates' official website. "To get to where I want to be, I have to be able to go out there and take the ball and get the innings."

Morton, 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in his last three road starts, is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in three career outings in Arizona.

Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton, who hit his 31st homer Monday, is batting .350 (14 for 40) with four home runs and eight RBIs in 11 career home games versus Pittsburgh.

The Pirates have dropped 13 of 17 in Arizona.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

Charlie Morton, RHP
2011 stats
160.2 Innings Pitched 210.0
9-10 Wins-Losses 16-10
3.81 Earned Run Average 3.39
71 Walks 46
102 Strikeouts 160
94 Pitches Per Start 104
Career vs. opponent
15.0 Innings Pitched 13.1
1-1 Wins-Losses 0-0
7.20 Earned Run Average 1.35

Daniel Hudson, RHP
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Pittsburgh3rd NL Central6462.50872-8 L 7
Arizona4th NL West5373.42117 ½ 3-7 L 4
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Daniel Hudson
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Cedeno52000.400
McCutchen52111.400
Tabata61002.167
Ludwick81012.125
Alvarez200120
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Charlie Morton
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Owings21000.500
Blum21000.500
Upton42021.500
Bloomquist31000.333
Parra31100.333
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Pittsburgh 220 Arizona -250
Injuries
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
C. BarmesGroin
G. ColeLat
C. MortonHip
S. PimentelAnkle
Arizona
PlayerInjury
B. ArroyoElbow
E. ChavezKnee
P. CorbinElbow
P. GoldschmidtFinger
D. HernandezElbow
D. HudsonElbow
C. OwingsShoulder
J. PachecoShoulder
A. PollockHand
M. ReynoldsElbow
C. RossCalf
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
May 12ARIWAS 6-5Clippard Reed 
May 13ARIARI 3-1Arroyo Strasburg 
May 14ARIWAS 5-1Clippard Ziegler 
Aug 18WASWAS 5-4Stammen Harris 
Aug 19WASWAS 8-1Strasburg Anderson 
Aug 20WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 21WAS 4:05 PM EDT