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ARI@LAD: Hudson solid, fans four over seven innings

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is old school.

His respect for the game keeps him from overlooking an opponent. He's been around long enough to know that anything can happen in baseball, especially during the final weeks of the regular season.

Still, it would be hard to blame the manager if he started thinking about the postseason.

With Monday's 1-0 victory against the Pirates, the D-backs' magic number to clinch the National League West is down to four. The D-backs have not won their division and have not been in the playoffs since 2007.

"Obviously, we all look forward to having the opportunity to experience that," Gibson said. "We know it's not going to come easy, we've known that for the whole season. The Pirates swept us the last time we faced them. They got a ton of new faces there. [Pirates manager] Clint Hurdle's got a ton of options, they're very dangerous, so we just stay focused on that."

On Tuesday, Gibson will send Daniel Hudson to the mound. The Pirates will counter with Charlie Morton.

"Everybody knows what we're up against," Gibson said. "We just prepare, have fun, try and stay loose. We're five games up [Sunday] and the Giants got 10 runs on the board. We're in the second inning, and we're down, 1-0. I said it when we were behind the Giants, you can't worry about the Giants, you just have to push ahead, you just need to take care of your own business because when you start worrying about other people then you get off of what you do."

In his last outing, Hudson allowed just a single in the second inning and two walks after a rough first inning against the Dodgers. He departed following the seventh inning.

As for Morton, he returned to the mound after nine days off in his last start and was much more efficient than he had been recently. Though he walked three, Morton made it through seven innings with 94 pitches and three runs allowed against the Cardinals.

He's won just twice since June 15.

"[The D-backs] have a very good team," Hurdle said. "They have revamped their defense. Their offense has played better. The outfield is very, very solid -- probably as good as any outfield in the Majors as far as defense and offense combined."

Pirates: Rotation set down stretch
• After Morton and Ross Ohlendorf (Wednesday) start games in Arizona, Jeff Locke, Brad Lincoln and James McDonald will pitch in the upcoming three-game series against the Reds at PNC Park. Morton and Ohlendorf will return for their final outings of the year in Milwaukee.

Locke, Brian Burres or Aaron Thompson could pitch the final game of the season on Sept. 28.

• Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, is expected to soon be named to the AFL's Mesa Solar Sox roster.

• When Mike Pagnozzi will become the eighth catcher used by the Pirates this season when makes an appearance behind the plate. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it will be the most catchers used in a season by the Pirates since 1953.

D-backs: Prospect Parker reaches bigs
• The D-backs selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Jarrod Parker from Double-A Mobile and designated infielder Tommy Manzella for assignment Monday.

"The atmosphere is awesome," Parker said. "I just came from Double-A, we won the championship, we celebrated last night. It was a crazy night to find out I'm coming up after a win."

Parker is expected to compete for a spot in the big league rotation next season.

• The D-backs are 17-6 in the midst of playing 22 straight games and 28 of their final 31 games against NL West teams.

Worth noting
• The D-backs have collected 12 or more hits 20 times this season. They are 18-2 in those games.

• The D-backs (80-0) are the only NL team to be undefeated when leading after eight innings.

• The Pirates have used a club-record 52 players this season. They set the record last season with 51. Comments