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Nova brilliant through 8, but Bucs fall in extras

MLB.com @adamdberry

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates couldn't have asked for much better pitching on Friday night. Ivan Nova was brilliant for eight innings. It took 13 innings for Pittsburgh to finally allow an earned run.

The night began with a masterful, fast-paced duel between Nova and left-hander Patrick Corbin. But the Bucs squandered one of their best pitching performances of the season as they struck out 17 times, managed only four hits and lost, 2-1, to the D-backs at PNC Park.

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PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates couldn't have asked for much better pitching on Friday night. Ivan Nova was brilliant for eight innings. It took 13 innings for Pittsburgh to finally allow an earned run.

The night began with a masterful, fast-paced duel between Nova and left-hander Patrick Corbin. But the Bucs squandered one of their best pitching performances of the season as they struck out 17 times, managed only four hits and lost, 2-1, to the D-backs at PNC Park.

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The defeat dropped Pittsburgh three games below .500 for the second time this season.

"It's not easy to take, man. A game like this, we should be able to get it. We should be able to get a win," said Nova, who allowed only three hits and struck out eight over eight scoreless innings. "I did my part, trying to give my team a chance to win a game. We had some opportunities to win and we didn't win the game when we got the chance. They took it away from us."

With two outs and runners on first and second in the 11th inning, Ketel Marte tapped a ball back toward the mound. Catcher Elias Diaz scrambled in front of the plate and made a wild throw to first base, allowing Jake Lamb to score from second.

The Pirates immediately responded to keep the game going. With the bases loaded and one out, Starling Marte hit a potential double-play grounder to third base, but Lamb chose to throw home. Catcher Jeff Mathis dropped Lamb's errant throw, allowing Polanco to score the tying run. But David Freese struck out and Diaz grounded out, stranding the winning run 90 feet away.

Video: ARI@PIT: Polanco scores on error to tie game in 11th

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow worked a scoreless 12th and returned to pitch the 13th. He issued a leadoff walk to Jon Jay, who took second on a wild pitch and scored the winning run on Marte's single to center field. The Pirates went down in order in the bottom of the inning against left-hander T.J. McFarland.

"We created opportunities to put ourselves on the other side of the game. We didn't do it," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's going to be nights where their pitching is going to get the best of you as a hitter. Good pitching is hard to hit. This team pitches pretty well over there."

While Nova cruised, Corbin dominated. The Arizona left-hander tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts, allowed only three singles and didn't walk anybody in seven innings. Corbin baffled the Pirates with a steady diet of fastballs and breaking balls. He threw 46 sliders, according to Statcast™, and the Bucs swung and missed on 21 of them.

Nova didn't have that kind of swing-and-miss stuff, but he was at his efficient best against a red-hot D-backs lineup that scored nine runs on Thursday night. The veteran right-hander needed only 90 pitches to complete eight innings for the first time since April 26.

"Ivan was awesome," Hurdle said. "This one was as good as any game we've seen him pitch. Back to what he does."

Video: ARI@PIT: Hurdle on Nova's 8-K outing in loss

Since coming off the disabled list, Nova has posted a 0.92 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings over three starts. On Friday, he pounded the strike zone with his fastball. Diaz called for 13 changeups that produced three swinging strikes. Nova's curveball, which went missing in his last start, returned to induce seven called strikes and three whiffs on the night.

On most nights, it would have been more than enough.

"It was not the case today," Nova said. "We missed that opportunity."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Thrown away: Just before Diaz made the errant throw that allowed the game's first run to score, the Pirates avoided another potential catastrophe on a comebacker. Reliever Edgar Santana fielded a grounder from David Peralta and turned to second base, looking to start an inning-ending double play. But he bobbled the ball and found himself with only one play: at the plate. Santana flipped the ball to Diaz in time for the catcher to tag out Paul Goldschmidt.

Video: ARI@PIT: Santana nabs Goldy at home after review

The next play, Hurdle said, is a "learning opportunity" for Diaz. Rather than forcing a throw to first, he might have been better off faking a throw and holding on to the ball. Instead, Diaz's throw sailed past first baseman Jose Osuna and into foul territory, allowing one run to score.

"Tough play. I tried to be aggressive with the ball," Diaz said. "I know the runner was Marte. He can run. That's why I tried to be aggressive with the play."

Video: ARI@PIT: Lamb scores on a throwing error in the 11th

SOUND SMART
Since Austin Meadows made his debut on May 18, the Pirates have lost 22 of 32 games. But Meadows is clearly not to blame for the Bucs' skid. The rookie outfielder went 2-for-5 on Friday, giving him a .343 average and a .958 OPS in 108 plate appearances.

Video: ARI@PIT: Meadows makes a slick sliding catch in left

HE SAID IT
"You never waste anything in this game when you go out and play. ... I don't feel like it was a wasted performance. If you asked Ivan if he wasted his night pitching, I think he'd probably have a different thought as well. … His job is to put us in a position to win. He did that." -- Hurdle, asked about "wasting" Nova's performance

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Jarrod Dyson dropped a bunt to lead off the eighth inning against Nova, and Osuna fielded it. The speedy Dyson raced to first so quickly that Osuna had little choice but to attempt to tag him. So Osuna left his feet and dove toward Dyson, who tried to dodge Osuna's tag. Dyson was initially ruled safe, but the Pirates challenged the call. The ruling was overturned after a one-minute, seven-second review. Rather than pitching with a stolen-base threat on first base, Nova was able to breeze through the rest of the inning on three more pitches.

Video: ARI@PIT: Osuna dives to tag Dyson, call overturned

UP NEXT
Right-hander Joe Musgrove will start against the D-backs on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET at PNC Park. Musgrove struggled last time out, allowing six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Reds. Veteran righty Zack Greinke will start for Arizona.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Ivan Nova