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Diamondbacks Vs. Pirates Preview: Pittsburgh Can Cut Into NL Central Lead

With four consecutive losses, the Cincinnati Reds have finally slowed down and their 2.5-game lead for the NL Central looks far from safe from the Pittsburgh Pirates. With a win on Wednesday night, the Pirates got one game closer to the division lead and can look to continue to do so on Thursday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

To get the win, though, pitcher Wandy Rodriguez will have to get back on track after losing four of his last five starts with one game in which he didn't earn the decision. In his last start, Rodriguez allowed two home runs in seven innings to the Cincinnati Reds.

Rodriguez will look to get back on track when he faces Joe Saunders, who has lost back to back starts of his own. In his last start Saunders was pulled in the seventh inning after allowing two runs and six hits en route to a loss from the Phillies.

Thursday's game at PNC Park is scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m. and will be televised on ROOT Sports and Fox Sports Arizona.

For more on the Diamondbacks, check out AZ Snake Pit. For more on the Pirates, there's Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.