Nova making pitch to stay

PITTSBURGH – Ivan Nova is building a strong resume to take to the free agent market this winter.

Yet he said his first preference is to come back with the Pirates.

“Hopefully I stay here,” he said.

Beyond that, Nova said he has no knowledge of whether the Pirates have contacted his representatives about striking a deal.

“That’s not part of my job,” he said. “My job is to pitch every five days. At the end of the season, I’m probably going to find out. I’m not really focused on that right now. I’ll let my agents talk about that.”

Since coming to the Pirates in a deadline deal from the New York Yankees, Nova has posted a 5-0 record and 2.52 earned run average. He has walked only two hitters in 46 and 1/3 innings, which has helped him to a 0.928 WHIP.

He’s brought stability to a rotation that is short on experience. At 30, he’ll probably find a minimum of a three-year deal on the open market.

It should be a great offseason for pitchers. There aren’t that many available, and teams are always looking for pitching help.

That demand will probably work against the Pirates if they choose to pursue Nova. There’s certainly no reason for him to consider signing a deal without exploring the market.

Nova said that since he’s joined the Pirates, he’s been pitching to contact because he’s confident the defense will make plays behind him.

“In the ninth inning last night, I got two outs on two pitches,” he said. “The guys behind me make it quick.”

Another look

The Pirates wore Homestand Grays uniforms Friday to honor Heritage Weekend.

“We’re on a tour right now,”manager Clint Hurdle said. “We have a chance to wear about seven different jerseys in eight days. When we get on the road and put the gray one on, I think we’ll have knocked down everything we’ve got.”

The Pirates wore replicas to the 1971 uniforms to commemorate a weekend celebrating the 45th anniversary of that World Series-winning team.

They regularly wear 1979 replicas for Sunday home games. They were camouflage style uniforms and caps on Thursdays at home.

They have two home jerseys – the standard white model and the alternate black jersey.

Round number

When Pedro Florimon entered Friday’s game as a pinch runner, he became the 50th player to appear in a game for the Pirates this season.

Drew Hutchison will be the 51st when he starts tonight’s game against the Reds.

Last tune-up

Gerrit Cole was able to throw 32 pitches in the bullpen Friday afternoon before rain started falling.

It was Cole’s last sideline session before his start Monday night in Philadelphia.

Catcher Chris Stewart said Cole ran through his full repertoire of pitches.

Still out

Starling Marte missed another game because of back spasms.

Josh Bell started in right field again, with Gregory Polanco shifting to left.