National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, August 1 (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (57-51) at Arizona Diamondbacks (48-61), 9:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Edinson Volquez (8-7, 3.87) Arizona - Vidal Nuno (0-2, 3.47)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Now that the trading deadline has come and gone, status quo will have to be good enough for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates failed to make a major transaction prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and will head into game two of a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night at Chase Field with largely the same contingent with which they'd arrived for game one.
Pittsburgh was reportedly in on negotiations to acquire ace Tampa Bay left- hander David Price, but he ultimately went to the Detroit Tigers as part of a three-team deal. Even without that addition, though, the Pirates look to be buoyed by the imminent returns of outfielder Starling Marte and pitcher Gerrit Cole from injuries.
"We wanted to add to this club," general manager Neal 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."
A loss in game one dropped the Pirates 2 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in a contentious National League Central Division. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks sent away Martin Prado and Gerardo Parra to the New York Yankees and Milwaukee, respectively, in exchange for minor-league talent.
"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."
Thursday's win pushed manager Kirk Gibson past Bob Melvin for the most wins in franchise history.
"We'd like to do those types of celebrations with a world championship," Gibson said.
Arizona starts lefty Vidal Nuno for the fifth time since he arrived from the Yankees.
Nuno is 0-2 with a 3.47 earned run average in those four outings, including a 6 2/3-inning stint on Monday that ended in a 4-2 loss to Philadelphia.
He met the Pirates while with the Yankees on May 18 and gave up two earned runs in six innings of a game Pittsburgh won, 5-3.
Edinson Volquez gets the call for the Pirates with a chance to get back to his pre All-Star Game magic.
Volquez was 4-0 with a microscopic 0.90 ERA in his final four outings before the break, but has allowed nine runs across two subsequent starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado.
In his last six games against Arizona, he's 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA.
On Thursday, Gibson moved past Melvin thanks to the unlikeliest of heroes.
Andy Marte had been waiting four years for a return to the big leagues and made the most of it with a pinch-hit, two-run homer that helped Arizona get past the Pirates, 7-4.
One of the open roster spots after the Prado and Parra trades was filled by the 30-year-old Marte, who had been stuck in the minors since a failed stint with the Indians in 2010 but was hitting .330 with 13 homers at Triple-A Reno before being called up.
Nick Ahmed hit his first career homer and Aaron Hill added a solo blast for the Diamondbacks.
Neil Walker went 2-for-4 with a solo homer while Russell Martin drove in two runs for the Pirates.
Pittsburgh took two of three from the D-backs earlier in the year.
08/01 11:00:32 ET