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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, August 9th (All times eastern)

Arizona Diamondbacks (56-55) at Pittsburgh Pirates (63-47), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Joe Saunders (5-8, 3.57) Pittsburgh - Wandy Rodriguez (7-10, 3.82)

(Sports Network) - Dominican lefty Wandy Rodriguez makes his third start in a Pittsburgh uniform today, when the Pirates host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth and final game of their series at PNC Park.

A 33-year-old who had appeared in 227 games for the Astros since they signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1999, Rodriguez was dealt to Pittsburgh in a July 24 deal that sent three minor-leaguers to Houston.

He was 7-8 in 21 starts for the Astros and is 0-1 in two outings with the Pirates, allowing 13 hits and six runs in 13 innings in a no-decision at Houston and a 3-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Pittsburgh trails the Reds by 2 1/2 games in the National League Central Division. Cincinnati lost its third straight game at Milwaukee and fourth overall on Wednesday.

Rodriguez is 3-5 in eight career starts against Arizona with a 5.40 earned run average in 40 overall innings.

In Wednesday's third game, Neil Walker doubled, homered and drove in five runs to lead the Pirates past the Diamondbacks, 7-6.

Starling Marte and Jordy Mercer also homered for the Pirates, who have won nine of their last 14.

Kevin Correia (9-6) picked up the win in a spot start after giving up four runs - three earned - on six hits. He also struck out five over six innings.

Joel Hanrahan picked up his NL-best 33rd save after striking out the side in the ninth.

Paul Goldschmidt had two RBI, Willie Bloomquist went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Stephen Drew scored three runs for the D-backs, who have lost four of their last five.

Ian Kennedy (10-9) was pegged with the loss after giving up six runs - five earned - on eight hits over four-plus innings. It was his shortest outing of the season. Kennedy also had a four-start winning streak snapped.

Arizona wraps up the series with southpaw Joe Saunders, who's dropped two straight decisions since his last win on July 24.

The 32-year-old improved to 5-6 on the season after allowing two runs on three hits in seven innings of a 6-2 home win over Colorado, but has since lost to the New York Mets and Philadelphia while giving up 14 hits and six runs in 13 1/3 innings.

He won his lone decision in two career starts against the Pirates, getting that victory, 5-1, on April 16 in Phoenix after allowing a run on six hits in seven innings.

He's 1-3 in nine road starts in 2012 with a stingy 2.48 ERA in 58 innings.

Prior to this series, the Diamondbacks had won 60 of the first 100 games between the teams since they began playing in 1998, though Pittsburgh won two of three in the lone 2012 series at Phoenix in April.

08/09 10:28:08 ET