Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates are probably not going to the playoffs, they have been a fun team to watch in the second half.
The Pirates will try for their fifth straight win when they conclude their three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark.
Pittsburgh won 7-1 on Tuesday for its eighth victory in 10 games. Craig Wilson homered, and Ty Wigginton connected for his first homer since being acquired from the New York Mets at the trade deadline.
The Pirates have gone 31-19 since losing 21 of 25 from May 30 to June 25. Last season, they were 57-65 through Aug. 17, en route to a 75-87 mark.
The Pirates will look to keep their roll going when they face struggling Diamondbacks starter Casey Fossum.
Fossum has dropped six straight decisions, including allowing eight runs and five hits over a season-low 2 2-3 innings in a 10-6 defeat to the Mets on Friday. The 26-year-old left-hander has allowed at least six runs in five of his last eight starts.
“It just seems like right now I’m just frustrated,” Fossum said. “It doesn’t seem like I have the life on my fastball, and I’m jumping out of my windup trying to get it, and I’m not throwing strikes.”
Fossum has not won in his last eight starts, dating to July 1. He has been pounded for 17 runs in just six innings over his last two outings.
Despite all that, manager AL Pedrique said he plans to keep Fossum in the starting rotation.
“He’s going to have to figure it out,” Pedrique said. “We know that he can pitch. He’s going to have to be more aggressive.
“To be honest with you, I don’t have too many options. We need to figure out if he’s a guy that can help us next year and be in the rotation.”