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ARI@PHI: Nuno fans five through 6 2/3 frames

Vidal Nuno has changed teams, coasts and leagues, but he can't escape the long ball.

Nuno will take the mound Friday night against Pittsburgh having given up 19 home runs this season, tied for sixth-most in the Majors. After seven shutout innings in his D-backs debut, Nuno has given up four homers in his past three starts.

All nine of his earned runs with Arizona have been on home runs.

"That's been my trouble this whole year," Nuno said, "giving up home runs. But otherwise, if I don't give up home runs, it'll be a really close game. It could be a 1-0 ballgame."

In his last start, Nuno was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs (two earned) across 6 2/3 innings as he threw a career-high 117 pitches. Nuno has won only one of his last 14 starts and is searching for his first win in Arizona.

As a member of the Yankees, the 27-year-old rookie left-hander faced the Pirates on May 18. He threw six innings of three-run ball, allowing six hits and striking out five in a no-decision.

The Pirates trot out Edinson Volquez, who will try to regain his dominant form from a month ago. In a four-game stretch at the end of June and dipping into July, Volquez went 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA and a 1.067 WHIP.

Since tossing a one-run complete game on July 10, Volquez has lasted a combined 10 innings over two starts, surrendering nine runs on 16 hits. In his last outing Sunday at Colorado, Volquez turned in his second shortest start of the season, lasting 4 1/3 innings and walking four while striking out two.

Eight current D-backs have faced Volquez, hitting .235 (23-for-98) against him. Paul Goldschmidt is 7-for-14 with four doubles and a home run while Aaron Hill is just 1-for-14.

Pirates: Vying for respect on the field
The Pirates watched as division counterparts Milwaukee and St. Louis wheeled and dealed leading up to Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Pittsburgh entered Friday's game in third place in the National League Central, 2 1/2 games behind the Brewers.

But still, Pittsburgh is viewed as the underdog in the division.

"We have more street cred on the field than anywhere else," manager Clint Hurdle said. "As I travel around, I do get the sense people in other cities don't know what this team is about -- except for Andrew McCutchen. Our guys use that as a motivator, and that's fine. They want to earn the public awareness on the field."

After a 7-4 loss Thursday night, the Pirates were a half-game back from the second Wild Card spot in the NL.

D-backs: Looking for answers at hot corner
With starting third baseman Martin Prado traded to the Yankees, Arizona will move forward with a platoon at the hot corner.

Jordan Pacheco started at third base on Thursday, his first start at the position since Sept. 6, 2012, and general manager Kevin Towers said Pacheco would split time with newly recalled Andy Marte and the injured Cliff Pennington.

"Penny's kind of a jack of all trades ... but Penny would be a guy who may see some time at third," Towers said. "Marte's put together a great Triple-A season and plays solid defense, so we've got some solid internal options."

At Triple-A this season, Marte hit .330 with 13 home runs and a .898 OPS. He delivered a go-ahead two-run homer Thursday night as a pinch-hitter in his first Major League at-bat since 2010. 

Worth noting
• The Pirates wrapped up their third straight winning month and ninth month in the last 10 with a non-losing record (exception: this April, 9-16). Comments