Pittsburgh (44-64) at Arizona (63-50)

Breezy Currently: Phoenix, AZ, US
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Tue Aug 7, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Coming off a successful road trip against division opponents, the Arizona Diamondbacks return home in sole possession of first place in the NL West.

The Diamondbacks look to maintain that lead and win their fourth straight game Tuesday when they open a three-game set with the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brandon Webb threw his fifth career shutout Sunday as Arizona (63-50) won 3-0 to sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers and finish 5-1 on a road trip that started by taking two of three from San Diego.

Arizona started the trip in a tie with the Dodgers for first, but heads into Tuesday’s contest alone atop the NL West.

“To win five of six on the road against these two teams that are in our division was huge for us,” Webb said.

Rookies Mark Reynolds and Justin Upton each went 2-for-4 and drove in a run apiece Sunday for Arizona, which has won 13 of its last 15 games.

“Other teams are now gunning for us, and we like to be in that position,” outfielder Eric Byrnes told the team’s official Web site. “I think guys are getting used to winning in here.”

Upton is hitting .308 (4-for-13) with two doubles in four games since making his major league debut on Thursday.

Byrnes, meanwhile, went 0-for-4 and is 2-for-16 in his last four games to drop his average to .303. Byrnes, though, is batting .308 (20-for-65) with four homers in 18 games against the Pirates.

Rookie Micah Owings (5-5, 4.91 ERA) looks to give Arizona another solid start Tuesday. Owings allowed one run and four hits in six innings, but earned his third straight no-decision in a 9-5, 11-inning win at San Diego on Wednesday.

The right-hander is 0-4 with a 6.68 ERA in his last seven starts since a 7-4 victory over Tampa Bay on June 20. He allowed seven runs in a career-low 2 2-3 innings, but didn’t factor in a 9-8 win at Pittsburgh on May 19 in his only start against the Pirates.

Arizona has a chance to continue its recent run of success Tuesday against Pittsburgh (44-64), owner of the worst record in the majors. The Diamondbacks took two of three from the Pirates at PNC Park from May 18-20 and swept a home series from them last season.

Tom Gorzelanny (9-6, 3.55) is expected to start Tuesday after his scheduled outing Sunday against Cincinnati was postponed due to rain. He hasn’t pitched since he allowed six runs and seven hits before leaving after 2 1-3 innings because of shoulder stiffness in a 6-3 loss to the New York Mets on July 25.

“I have been able to get a lot of work in since my last start,” Gorzelanny said. “And my arm feels so much stronger.”

The left-hander faced Owings and Arizona on May 19, but didn’t receive a decision after allowing two runs over six innings in his only start against the Diamondbacks.

Pittsburgh lost 9-8 to Cincinnati on Saturday for its second straight defeat and fell to 4-16 since the All-Star break.

The Pirates are unsure if outfielder Xavier Nady will return to the starting lineup Tuesday. Nady, who is batting .538 (7-for-13) with a homer and six RBIs against Arizona this season, has pinch-hit twice in his last four games because of a strained left hamstring.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Gorzelanny NYM vs. M. Owings SEA
14-10 Record 8-8
3.88 ERA 4.30
135 K 106
68 BB 50
1.40 WHIP 1.28