Jason Kubel walloped a pair of homers on Thursday night to help the Arizona Diamondbacks trounce the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 at PNC Park.
The win allowed the Snakes to split their four-game series with the Bucs and keep in the hunt for the postseason.
Kubel notched his 24th moonshot of the season during the first inning when he whacked a 90-m.p.h. fastball from southpaw Wandy Rodriguez more than 350 feet into the right field seats to produce a two-run homer.
He then repeated his feat, albeit against reliever Jared Hughes, in the seventh inning, which became home run number 25.
The Pirates, who are currently ranked second in the National League Central, didn't go down without a fight last night as they roughed up Arizona's Joe Saunders (6-8, 3.52 ERA) for three runs off two RBIs and a sacrifice fly in the second inning.
Saunders wound up getting the win thanks to Kubel's hot bat, as well as a two-run homer provided by Wil Nieves, the newest addition to the Diamonbacks roster. The 34-year-old Puerto Rican-born catcher, who was scooped up by Arizona from free agency earlier this week, made a memorable debut with his 386-foot dinger in the sixth inning.
The Diamondbacks (57-55) will come home to Chase Field to kick off a three-game weekend series with the red-hot Washington Nationals (69-43) tonight. Arizona will most definitely have their work cut out for them as the battle the best team in baseball.
The probable pitching match-ups for the D-Backs include Trevor Cahill (9-9, 3.76) getting the ball tonight and facing off against ace Stephen Strasburg (12-5, 2.97), followed by Wade Miley (12-7, 2.85) heading to the hill versus Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.56) tomorrow. And Sunday afternoon's finale will feature Patrick Corbin (3-4, 3.53) going against lefty Ross Detwiler (6-4, 2.99)
First pitch tonight is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.
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