Weaver, D-backs look to stay hot against Pirates

Field Level Media

The Arizona Diamondbacks have won five consecutive games against the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, and they will send out a hot pitcher to try to make it six in a row Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Luke Weaver (3-1, 2.98 ERA) is coming off back-to-back seven-inning performances in which he allowed one run and three hits in each. The last time out, against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, one of his fastballs hit 99 mph.

"I knew I threw it as hard as I could, and sometimes it's nice to see a number that backs up how hard (you think) you threw it," Weaver said on azcentral.com. "Sometimes, the number is not so pleasing. But, yeah, a really cool moment."

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Weaver picked up one of his victories on April 23 during Arizona's four-game sweep in Pittsburgh. He allowed one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 2-1 win.

In three career starts against the Pirates, Weaver is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA.

The 25-year-old, who was a late first-round draft pick by St. Louis in 2014, is in the best stretch of his major league career with a 1.82 ERA in his past five starts.

"I can just tell by his mound presence, and his demeanor -- he wants the ball back from the catcher as soon as possible so he can go to work," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's just in a really good run right now."

Weaver has always had the high-90s velocity, but he was just 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA last season with the Cardinals before being part of the Paul Goldschmidt trade in the offseason. Adding a cut fastball to his fastball/changeup mix has been effective for the right-hander this season.

The Pirates entered Monday night's opener of a three-game series having won eight of 11 games, but Arizona's bats woke up in a 9-3 win.

The Diamondbacks were 6-for-16 with runners in scoring position after going 5-for-38 in those situations in the recently completed four-game series against Atlanta as Arizona lost the final three games.

Pittsburgh right-hander Joe Musgrove (1-4, 4.20 ERA) will try to chill those bats. He took a 1.54 ERA into May but has been rocked for 15 runs (13 earned) in 5 2/3 innings over two starts this month.

Musgrove is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against Arizona.

Monday's game was special for Pirates 22-year-old rookie shortstop Cole Tucker, who grew up as a Diamondbacks fan in the Phoenix area.

"Making your debut is awesome, and that's definitely No. 1 the coolest thing that's happened to me since I've been up here," he said on MLB.com. "But this is a close second. This is home."

He had about 300 friends and family at the game, when he went 0-for-3. He is hitting .177 in 62 at-bats.

Pittsburgh first baseman Josh Bell enters with a 13-game hitting streak, the longest current streak in the majors. He is hitting .415 (22-for-53) with seven doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs during the streak. He went 2-for-4 on Monday.

Arizona has won nine in a row against Pittsburgh dating to last season, and 13 of the past 14 going back to 2017.

--Field Level Media

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