Jason Kubel blasted two home runs in leading the Arizona Diamondbacks (57-55) to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates (63-48).
After a day off yesterday, Kubel got off to a quick start in the top of the first inning by blasting a two-run home run to right field, scoring Aaron Hill and putting Arizona on top 2-0.
Pittsburgh responded in the bottom of the second inning when catcher Michael McKenry singled to left field, scoring Gaby Sanchez, and cutting Arizona’s lead to 2-1. Neil Walker would score in the next at bat off of a sacrifice fly by Jordy Mercer to tie the score up at 2-2. Starling Marte would follow with a single to right field to score McKenry and put the Bucs on top 3-2.
Wil Nieves, Arizona’s newest acquisition after the loss of Henry Blanco to injury, made his presence known in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run home run to left field to score Chris Johnson and put Arizona back on top 4-3.
Kubel would continue his big night in the top of the seventh inning with another two-run home run to left-center field to score Hill and put the game out of reach at 6-3.
Arizona’s starter Joe Saunders threw a strong game, allowing seven hits and only two earned runs through seven innings pitched. Closer JJ Putz would come into the game to close the door in the bottom of the ninth and pick up his 21st save of the season.
With the victory, Arizona completed a tough 10-game road trip through Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh with a 6-4 record and sit only four games back of division-leading San Francisco Giants. Arizona heads home tonight to open up a three-game home stand agains the N.L. East leading Washington Nationals over the weekend. Arizona starter Trevor Cahill will take the mound against Washington ace Stephen Strasburg in the series opener tomorrow evening.