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6
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4
  W: T. Watson (2-0)   L: T. Wilhelmsen (0-1)
1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, May 14, 2017
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona  Attendance: 34,088

D-Backs look to resume home success versus Pirates

PHOENIX -- Pittsburgh attempts to build on the momentum begun when it broke a six-game winning streak in Arizona on Saturday, although it may not be easy.

The Diamondbacks take the best home record in the National League into the final contest game of the four-game series against the Pirates and Ivan Nova on Sunday at Chase Field.

The Diamondbacks are 15-7 at home, with the victories the most in the majors.

"What we talked about early on in spring training is making this a home field advantage, having teams walk in here and knowing they are going to be in for a really, really hard nine-inning battle," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.

"We're earning that. We're showing hopefully the rest of the National League that this is going to be a place where they have to earn their victories. Very pleased about that."

Nova (3-3) faces Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray (2-3) on Sunday.

Nova, who was the NL pitcher of the month in April, makes his eighth start of the season. His 2.23 ERA is second in the league and his record does not indicate how well he has pitched. He has received an average of 2.7 runs per start, the third-lowest figure in the NL. Teammate Gerrit Cole is No. 1.

"You don't want to be thinking about that," Nova said. "As a pitcher, your job is to give the team a chance to win a game, and that's what we've been doing. The runs are going to come. We have to keep fighting."

The Pirates had lost eight of 10 before winning Saturday, the third time in the last 11 games they had scored as many as four runs. They have 27 runs in the last 11 games.

"We have to stay focused," Nova said. "A lot times times don't go the way they are supposed to so, but you can't give up. We're going to get through this. We're fighting together."

Nova is tied for fourth in the NL with six quality starts, one fewer than Cole, and has 29 strikeouts against three walks in 48 1/3 innings. Two of those walks came in his most recent start, a no-decision at the Dodgers.

"He's been an absolute stabilizer," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.

"He's a craftsman. He's taken that next step. This guy has gone out since he touched the ball the first time here with intent, with purpose, with execution. He's given us big games when we've needed it. He's given us opportunities to win nine out of 10 times he's touched the ball."

Nova won his only career start against the Diamondbacks, beating them in five innings when he was with the Yankees in 2013.

Ray has had an up-and-down last two starts. He gave up four hits and two runs while striking out 10 against Washington on May 3, but the Diamondbacks scored only one and Ray suffered the tough-luck loss.

He gave up five runs on five hits and five walks in five innings in his last outing, a 7-3 loss to Detroit in which he struck out eight. He is tied for fourth in the NL with 57 strikeouts and is averaging 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings, second in the league to the Mets' Jacob deGrom.

Ray is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates.

Updated May 14, 2017

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