PHOENIX — Before the game tonight, Pitt/Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald worked out on the field with the D’backs. Fitzgerald will host his second annual celebrity softball game April 21 at the D’backs spring training complex in Arizona. Fitzgerald said he was a Pirates fan when he went to college, but now that he lives in Arizona, ”I’m a Diamondbacks guy.”
»»» Despite their divergent records, the Pirates (3-6) and Diamondbacks (6-3) have a few similarities so far this season. Both have played plenty of closer games. For the Pirates, six of nine have been one-run games. For the D’backs, eight of nine were decided by two runs or less. Both teams are struggling to get hits with runners in scoring position, although D’backs are having better success at scoring runs (4.78 runs per game, fourth in the NL) than the Pirates (2.00 rpg, last in the NL). Both teams also have one player who is carrying much of the load offensively. For the Pirates, it’s Andrew McCutchen, who’s hitting .318 on this road trip and who has hit safely in seven of the past eight games. For Arizona. it’s Chris Young, who’s batting .364 with a .475 OBP. Young already has four homers and 11 RBI — almost as much production as the entire Pirates team (four homers, 15 RBI).
»»» This could be a busy series for Pirates catchers, as the Diamondbacks are 10 for 13 in stolen-base attempts. They swiped four in the game Sunday against Rockies rookie catcher Drew Pomeranz. “He’s a young kid and we pushed the envelope,” D’backs manager Kirk Gibson told the Arizona Republic. “I think he got a little unraveled there from time to time.”
»»» This will be just the second time LHP Joe Saunders has faced the Pirates. In 2007, he gave up four runs in six innings against Pittsburgh. In his previous start Wednesday against the Padres, Saunders worked seven scoreless innings and yielded four hits.
»»» To make room for Matt Hague at Triple-A Indy, infielder Jeremy Farrell was sent back to Double-A Altoona.
Game 10: Pirates @ Arizona, 9:40 p.m. ET
Pirates (3-6): 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Jose Tabata rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Casey McGehee 1b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Rod Barajas c, 7. Josh Harrison 3b, 8. Clint Barmes ss, 9. Erik Bedard lhp (0-2, 2.25)
Diamondbacks (6-3): 1. Willie Bloomquist ss, 2. Aaron Hill 2b, 3. Justin Upton rf, 4. Miguel Montero c, 5. Chris Young cf, 6. Paul Goldschmidt 1b, 7. Jason Kubel lf, 8. Ryan Roberts 3b, 9. Joe Saunders lhp (0-0, 0.00)