Arizona (59-88) at Pittsburgh (48-98)

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Temp: 86° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 17, 2010
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The Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates will finish the season at the bottom of their respective division, but Diamondbacks interim manager Kirk Gibson is insisting his team isn’t quitting.

Ian Kennedy’s(notes) recent performances lend credence to that.

Kennedy looks to turn in another dominant outing when Arizona opens a three-game series at the punchless Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

The Diamondbacks (59-88) are all but mathematically assured of finishing last in the NL West for the first time since 2004. However, they’re coming off a split of a four-game series with Central-leading Cincinnati including a 3-1 win in Thursday’s finale.

“One thing you never want to be viewed as is a quitter,” Gibson told the team’s official website. “I don’t think anybody in here wants to do that. Nobody’s quitting.”

Kennedy (9-9, 3.87 ERA) has shown that he hasn’t given up, going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last six starts and tossing a career-high 16 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three.

The right-hander could use some offensive support in his first start against Pittsburgh (48-98). He didn’t get a decision in either of his last two outings despite allowing four hits in 14 shutout innings, as the Diamondbacks supported him with a total of two runs.

Kennedy scored one of those runs himself Sunday, when he had a career-high three hits and threw six two-hit innings at Colorado. His leg cramped up while runnings the bases, though, and he was removed from Arizona’s eventual 4-2 loss.

“I’m not going to mortgage his future and have him continue to throw,” Gibson said.

The Diamondbacks took two of three from Pittsburgh at home April 9-11, and swept their last series at PNC Park from Aug. 4-6, 2009.

The Pirates are opening a nine-game homestand, during which they’ll likely clinch their first 100-loss season since 2001. They got swept in a four-game set at New York, culminating in a 6-2 defeat Thursday to cap a 1-6 trip.

Pittsburgh hit .197 in the series against the Mets, and have a league-low .239 average on the season.

“All we can do is keep on playing and hope the wins come,” said first baseman Garrett Jones(notes), a bright spot while going 7 for 18 in his last five games.

The Pirates will send Brian Burres(notes) (3-3, 5.22) to the mound looking for a third consecutive strong start since replacing Jeff Karstens(notes) in the rotation.

The left-hander yielded one run and four hits in seven innings Sunday, but didn’t get a decision in a 3-1 win at Cincinnati. That performance came six days after he allowed one run in six innings of a 3-1 home win over Atlanta.

Burres is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three home starts this season.

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Starting Pitchers

I. Kennedy SD vs. B. Burres SF
9-10 Record 4-5
3.80 ERA 4.99
168 K 45
70 BB 34
1.20 WHIP 1.53


Friday, Sep 17