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Pirates squander Nova’s start in 2-1 extra inning loss to DBacks

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Starters Ivan Nova and Patrick Corbin went pitch for pitch Friday night, but it was costly defensive errors and a 13th inning base hit that decided the game, with the Diamondbacks emerging victorious 2-1.

“It’s not easy to take, man,” Nova said on the loss. “Game like this, we should be able to get it. We should be able to get a win...They took it away from us.”

Nova went eight shutout innings, working around three hits while not walking a batter. He struck out eight, threw 18 first pitch strikes to his 27 batters faced and retired 13 on three pitches or less. He retired the final 12 batters he faced- five via punchout.

After struggling with his curveball in his last start on June 16, Nova said the pitch- along with the rest of his arsenal- was working for him Friday.

“It was like the one I had in Chicago (on June 10),” Nova said about his curve.

Four of Nova’s eight strikeouts ended with a curveball: twice looking and twice swinging.

Nova’s third strike pitches. Courtesy of Baseball Savant.

Corbin also allowed just three hits in his seven innings without issuing a walk. He matched a career high 12 strikeouts.

While the Pirates loaded up their lineup with eight right-handed hitters, the lefty Corbin held them to a combined 1-21 with 11 strikeouts. Corbin entered holding righties to a .576 OPS compared to a .772 against lefties.

With runners on the corners and one out in the 11th, Diamondbacks’ outfielder David Peralta hit a comebacker to the mound that looked like a potential double-play ball, but pitcher Edgar Santana flubbed it. Fortunately for the righty, he was able to rebound and get the out at the plate to keep the game scoreless.

Arizona scored on the next pitch, though, when second baseman Ketel Marte’s nubber in front of the plate was fielded by catcher Elias Diaz and then thrown into right field, allowing Jake Lamb to score.

“Tough play. I tried to be aggressive with the ball,” Diaz said. “I know the runner was Marte, and he can run. That’s why I tried to be aggressive with the play.”

But Lamb giveth, and Lamb taketh away. After reliever Brad Boxenberger loaded the bases with three walks, Lamb made a throwing error on a play to the plate, allowing Gregory Polanco to score on Starling Marte’s grounder. David Freese fanned and Diaz bounced out to end the inning with the bases full of Bucs.

The Diamondbacks fired the winning salvo in the 13th when Ketel Marte drove Tyler Glasnow’s 41st pitch of the game into center for a hit, plating Jon Jay.

The Pirates have now won just 10 of their last 32 games and are now 36-39 overall. It’s the first time all season the Pirates have been three games under .500.

“We need to play better,” Clint Hurdle said. “I’ll continue to say it, we’ll continue to work at it.”

Glasnow falls to 1-2 after allowing the deciding run in his second inning of work. Andrew Chafin improves to 1-2, and T.J. McFarland picked up his first career save.

News and Notes

Francisco Cervelli was placed on the seven day concussion DL before the game. Catcher Jacob Stallings was promoted and was in the dugout by first pitch. His pinch-hit flyout in the 13th was the final out of the game.

There is no news on when Corey Dickerson will return to the Pirates. Clint Hurdle said he left a voicemail for Dickerson before he met with the media Friday and that several players have reached out, but they haven’t heard anything back yet. Dickerson was placed on the Family Emergency Leave list on Wednesday.

On Deck

Joe Musgrove (2-3, 3.68) will oppose Zack Greinke (6-5, 3.90) Saturday at 4:05 p.m.. The Pirates beat Greinke in Arizona on June 10, while the Diamondbacks won against Musgrove and the Bucs on June 8.


  1. The Pirates’ bullpen has a 1.26 ERA over their last seven games (28.2 IP, 4 ER).
  2. Nova is now hitless in his last 54 at-bats (dating back to 2017). His last hit came against Arizona on May 30: a single off Robbie Ray.
  3. This is the first time the Diamondbacks have won four consecutive games at PNC Park (dating back to 2017). Arizona did win four straight at Three Rivers Stadium once (Aug. 21, 1999-Aug. 11, 2000).