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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, April 8th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Pirates (1-5) at Arizona Diamondbacks (5-1), 9:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00) Arizona - Trevor Cahill (0-1, 4.76)

(Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks will try and maintain a hold of the National League West Division lead on Monday when they open a three-game set against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field.

Arizona has won four in a row to claim an early share of the division lead along with the Colorado Rockies, winners of five straight. The Diamondbacks are off to a 5-1 start for only the third time in franchise history.

Taking the hill for the Diamondbacks is right-hander Trevor Cahill, who took the loss against St. Louis this past Tuesday after yielding three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He was sailing along until serving up a home run to Matt Holliday in the sixth on a pitch that was down in the strike zone. Still, Cahill did manage to fan seven batters.

He'll go to work against a Pittsburgh lineup that is last in the NL in hits (21) and team batting average (.119). Losers of four straight, the Pirates are at the bottom of the NL Central standings.

Southpaw Wandy Rodriguez was masterful in his season debut against the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday, as he tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings and allowed only two hits. Rodriguez issued only one walk and struck out six in that outing.

"I started to work earlier this year because of the (World Baseball) Classic, and as a result, I do feel stronger," Rodriguez said.

Arizona notched its fourth straight win with Sunday's 8-7 triumph at Milwaukee in 11 innings. J.J. Putz squandered the D'backs two-run lead in the ninth, but Eric Hinske later came through with a pinch-hit two-run blast in the 11th to complete the series sweep.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Hinske said. "It was a hanging breaking ball and it just kept going. That kind of surprised me too, how far I hit it. It felt great, I didn't even feel it hit the bat."

Entering play Sunday, Pittsburgh was the only team in the majors that had not allowed more than three runs in any game this season. But that streak ended following Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Dodgers. The Pirates managed just four hits, and their two runs came on a homer by Andrew McCutchen in the first inning.

The Bucs won four of seven last year against the D'backs.

04/08 10:31:56 ET

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    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400 from Richmond

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

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    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
4th
MIA 90
CHA 73
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
14th
NYM 3
ATL 3
 
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
13th
PIT 2
MIL 2
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
12th
TAM 1
NYY 1
 
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
 
8th
CHC 2
CIN 8
 
8th
TEX 2
CWS 9
 
5th
OAK 2
HOU 1
 
6th
LOS 0
ARI 0
 
4th
COL 4
PHI 3
 
5th
SDP 2
SFG 4
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
4th
MIA 90
CHA 73
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
3rd
BOS 4
DET 1
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3