Diamondbacks hope to avoid series loss to Pirates

If the Pittsburgh Pirates won't cooperate, the Arizona Diamondbacks won't mind getting help from elsewhere.

The Diamondbacks seek to avoid a series loss this afternoon in the finale of a three-game series with the Pirates and lower their magic number of three for clinching the National League West.

Arizona moved closer to securing its first division title since 2007 on Tuesday despite a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh. That's because the Giants lost to the Dodgers, maintaining the Diamondbacks' 5 1/2-game edge for the division lead with seven games to play.

Following an off day on Thursday, the Diamondbacks open a three-game series with the visiting Giants.

Daniel Hudson was tagged with the loss on Tuesday after giving up three runs on seven hits over five innings. The rough outing snapped Arizona's two-game win streak and was their sixth loss in the past eight games versus Pittsburgh.

"Give them credit, he made some mistakes and they got on him," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Hudson's outing.

For the Pirates, Charlie Morton hurled six scoreless innings and both Pedro Alvarez and Derrek Lee hit home runs. Pittsburgh snapped a four-game slide in which it had been outscored, 29-4.

"The timely hits, we could use a few more of those," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "Both teams left a large amount of people on base but we did play excellent defense."

Ross Ohlendorf will start today's finale for the Pirates fresh off his first victory in over a year. The righty improved to 1-2 with a 6.82 earned run average in seven starts this season after holding the Dodgers to a pair of runs on four hits over a season-high seven innings on Thursday.

Ohlendorf struck out six without a walk in his first win since July 2, 2010, and also hit a three-run homer off Dodgers starter Dana Eveland.

"I was really excited," Ohlendorf said of his first career homer. "Dana knew I wasn't a very good hitter. It was a first-pitch fastball and I got lucky."

The 29-year-old is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts versus Arizona.

Wade Miley will make his seventh career start this afternoon for the Diamondbacks and had a three-decision win streak end on Friday with his first loss since his MLB debut on Aug. 20.

The 24-year-old southpaw pitched well in a loss to the Padres, hurling five scoreless innings after giving up a pair of runs during a 28-pitch first inning.

"I wasn't very effective in the first inning. I got behind guys and wasn't making good pitches," Miley said.

Miley is 3-2 with a 4.24 ERA on the year and faces the Pirates for the first time.