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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, August 16th (All times Eastern)

Arizona Diamondbacks (62-57) at Pittsburgh Pirates (71-49), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Brandon McCarthy (2-6, 4.73) Pittsburgh - Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.95)

(Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a flair for the dramatic of late, and they'll turn their attention to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday for the opener of a three-game set at PNC Park.

Arizona swept Baltimore at home this week, as all three games were decided by just one run and all three ended in walkoff fashion, including two that went to extra innings. The Diamondbacks have won a major league-best 26 games in their last at-bat this season.

"These three games are bringing the confidence a little bit up," infielder Martin Prado said. "We were a little bit down, but actually we're starting to believe we can do this, keep battling until the end."

Arizona entered Friday 7 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West and six games out in the wild card race. On Wednesday, the D'backs claimed a 5-4 win in 14 innings thanks to Aaron Hill, who tied the game in the ninth with a single and ended it in the bottom of the 14th on a grounder up the middle.

The Pirates were swept in Colorado last weekend, and they followed that up by losing two of three in St. Louis this week. Still, Pittsburgh maintains a two- game cushion over St. Louis in the National League Central, while Cincinnati sits 2 1/2 games back.

On Thursday, the Pirates suffered a 6-5 extra-innings loss to the Cardinals as Matt Holliday delivered a walkoff single in the 12th for the Redbirds.

The Pirates are happy to be back at PNC Park, where their 41 home victories are second in the majors behind Atlanta's 42. After just wrapping up a six- game road swing, the team is making a brief pit stop home before hitting the road again for six more.

"We get to go play in front of our crowd for three days, sleep in our beds, and wear the whites. I like the little break before we head back out," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Rookie hurler Gerrit Cole, the top overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, will make his first start in eight days after being skipped in the rotation because of Monday's off day. The 22-year-old is 5-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 11 starts. Cole allowed a season-high four earned runs in five innings of work against Miami on Sunday.

"The way we mapped it out for him, he'll make three starts through the end of the month instead of four," Hurdle said of the plan to skip Cole. "We knocked an entire start out, knocked another 100 pitches off the plate. We'll look to trim in other places as well."

The D'backs are kicking off a 10-game road swing with seven games against postseason hopefuls Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Brandon McCarthy makes his third start since coming off the disabled list with a shoulder injury that cost him two months. He is coming off a seven-inning outing against the New York Mets his last time out, in which he yielded two earned runs on six hits.

"Today was good, just from the standpoint of I needed to get past that wall," McCarthy said. "Rehab appearances, you're on a set pitch limit so you kind of pitch up to that, and you kind of saw in Boston I got to a certain point and sort of hit the cliff."

The Pirates took two of three from the D'backs in Arizona back in April.

08/16 10:41:06 ET

  • CBB: Georgetown at St. John's

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: UNC at Miami

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Kentucky

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes vs Washington Capitols

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Boston College

    Saturday at 6:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
NBA
Final
CLE 110
GSW 99
1st
PHO 22
OKC 9
 
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
Final
CITA 74
ETST 73
 
Final
GWEBB 91
CSOU 81
 
Final
VMI 82
CHAT 86
 
Final
BRY 77
CCST 69
 
Final
PBY 80
CCAR 69
 
Final
DREX 44
DEL 58
 
Final
UNCA 71
HIGH 75
 
Final
TEMPL 66
HOU 54
Final
EKENT 63
JVST 57
 
Final
WRST 58
UWMIL 61
 
Final
MSU 90
MINN 96
Final
RFLSH 63
MNTER 60
 
Final
OSU 81
NEB 57
Final
MAST 67
NEOM 73
 
Final
ELON 72
NE 65
 
Final
LIB 80
RAD 69
 
Final
FD 85
SHU 90
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 67
 
Final
LIU 69
Terriers 74
 
Final
TENN 65
VANDY 73
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 59
 
Final
FUR 53
WCU 49
 
Final
IUPUI 71
WILL 66
 
Final
CAMP 65
WINT 50
 
Final
MERC 72
WOFF 76
 
Final
APP 58
GSOUT 77
 
Final
UNT 81
CHAR 65
 
Final
MURST 65
EILL 57
 
Final
MARS 87
FIU 69
 
Final
WKENT 71
FATL 68
 
Final
ILLCH 67
UWGB 72
 
Final
ORU 74
NDST 58
 
Final
NDAK 75
NARZ 85
 
Final
RICE 54
ODU 63
 
Final
MON 60
RIDE 63
 
Final
PEAY 64
SIUE 61
 
Final
LATU 77
UTEP 60
Final
SMISS 70
TXSA 66
Final
TENST 52
TENNM 69
 
Final
CHIST 74
GRCN 70
 
Final
UMKC 69
WLVRN 50
 
Final
SALA 57
LAMON 75
 
Final
ARKST 81
TXARL 80
 
Final
ARKLR 92
UGST 83
 
Final
TXST 67
TROY 61
 
Final
COL 54
ARZ 82
 
2nd
PURD 86
RUTG 73
 
Final
MEM 57
SMU 66
 
Final
NCOL 77
SUTAH 64
 
2nd
MORE 86
TENT 70
 
Final
EWASH 92
MNTST 68
 
2nd
PORT 41
BYU 36
 
2nd
CSNO 39
CSFU 41
 
Half
IDAHO 24
MONT 33
 
2nd
SCU 26
PAC 31
 
2nd
UCSB 39
UCD 36
 
2nd
CPSL 36
UCI 50
 
1st
UTAH 23
ARST 9
 
11:00pm Tonight
STAN
ORST
11:00pm Tonight
GONZ
SDU
1st
USF 0
GAELS 5
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
LBSU
 
Final
NYR 4
ARI 3
Final
CLB 2
MON 5
Final
BUF 6
VAN 3
Final
FLA 0
CHI 3
Final
TOR 3
PHI 2
Final
WIN 1
STL 2
3rd
NAS 2
MIN 4
 
1st
SJS 1
DET 0
 
1st
LOS 0
OTT 0