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MIL@ARI: Anderson allows two earned over six innings

For a while, it seemed like D-backs starter Chase Anderson couldn't lose.

Now, it looks like just the opposite.

Anderson won his first five starts after being promoted early in May, but since then he has dropped three straight.

The home run ball has been an issue for Anderson, who has allowed eight in his first 44 2/3 Major League innings, including two last time out against the Indians when he allowed four runs over five innings.

"I felt good, just too many runs," Anderson said after the game. "Two home runs, and then the two other runs -- you got to limit the damage, which I thought I did inning to inning, but overall probably not the best outing I've had."

Charlie Morton will start for the Pirates and it would be a good idea for D-backs hitters not to dig in too much against him.

Morton leads the National League in hit batters with 15, which is nearly double that of the next closest pitcher, A.J. Burnett of the Phillies, who has eight.

Burnett had a big influence on Morton when he pitched for the Pirates the past two seasons.

"I saw Charlie grow up," Burnett said. "The main thing to me is being able to help guys. I don't want to be cocky, but I rubbed off on them the right away. For me, being able to leave on that note was important."

Of course, there is nothing malicious in the hit by pitch total. Rather it's more a function of Morton's signature pitch.

"Charlie does run the two-seamer in on lefties -- has tried to get some right-handed guys off the plate and get some strikes in there," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's well aware of the importance of him pitching inside for strikes."

While the home run ball has been a problem for Anderson, it certainly has not been one for Morton, who has allowed just one at home in 44 2/3 innings.

D-backs: Good news on Owings
An MRI taken on the shoulder of shortstop Chris Owings showed no structural damage and he was diagnosed with just a bruise.

"We'll wait this week and see how it is when he starts to swing again," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Hopefully the discomfort will go away. It shows no really significant damage."

The shoulder, which Owings initially hurt diving into home plate on June 20, bothers him when he swings. After waiting for it to improve, the team finally decided to put him on the disabled list on Sunday.

If the shoulder responds to rest, the team is hopeful Owings will be able to return close to when his 15-day DL stint is over.

Pirates: Getting on base, on track
In 2013, the Bucs were in the bottom half of the league in on-base percentage, getting there only at a .313 rate. It was the chief shortcoming Hurdle wanted to fix, and the attention paid to it is paying off.

Pittsburgh led the National League in June with an on-base percentage of .350, and ranks No. 2 (to the Rockies) at .332 for the whole season.

"The at-bats are better," Hurdle said. "The ability to compete in the box has helped dramatically. We're starting to wear down pitchers, starting to get to good pitchers. Even if we don't beat them, just to get them out of the game earlier."

Worth Noting:
• D-backs reliever Joe Thatcher has not allowed a walk in a club-record 22 straight games. That is the longest streak in baseball. The left-hander has thrown 12 1/3 innings and faced 50 batters over that stretch.

• The D-backs have nine rookies on their roster, most in the Majors. The White Sox are second with seven.

• Neil Walker batted eighth in the Pirates' lineup Tuesday night -- only his fourth time in the No. 8 spot in 576 career starts.

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