The Diamondbacks have taken a dive in the standings since Trevor Cahill's last start.
The Arizona right-hander returns from the 15-day disabled list today in the middle contest of a three-game series against the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cahill was placed on the disabled list July 1 with a right hip contusion and went 0-2 with a 4.57 ERA in four rehab starts with the Rookie D'backs and Triple-A Reno. On July 1, Arizona was in first place in the NL West by 1 1/2 games at the day's end. Now, they're 8 1/2 games behind the sizzling Los Angeles Dodgers in the division.
Cahill has gone 0-6 over his last eight starts and hasn't won since May 17 at Miami. He's 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two career starts against Pittsburgh. This will be his first appearance at PNC Park.
Jeff Locke is also in a victory drought. The Pirates left-hander is 0-1 over his previous four starts and that includes three no-decisions in his last three appearances. Locke is 4-1 in 11 home starts this season. He's never had a start against the Diamondbacks.
Last night, Gerrit Cole spun six strong innings to help the Pirates to a 6-2 win. Cole (6-5) allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while fanning five to earn his first win since July 23.
Cole bounced back nicely after giving up two runs in the fourth inning that tied the game.
"The breaking ball came into play enough by far and away enough after they had scored the two," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He seemed to find the command he needed."
Jose Tabata hit a two-run homer and Pedro Alvarez drove in a pair of runs for the NL Central leaders, who had dropped five of their last six games entering the contest.
Martin Prado and A.J. Pollock drove in one run apiece for the Diamondbacks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Brandon McCarthy (2-7) was pegged with the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings. McCarthy has dropped all three of his starts since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 4.
"My cutter hasn't come back off the DL with me," McCarthy admitted. "I don't know where that's gone, but it hasn't been sharp and hasn't been the pitch I'd like it to be."
The Pirates took two of three from the D'backs in Arizona back in April.