Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/9/12

The Diamondbacks flexed their muscles on a 10-game trip, and the final game provided the exclamation point.

Jason Kubel hit two two-run home runs and Wil Nieves hit one as the D-backs earned a split of a four-game series with a 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Kubel has 25 home runs, third in the National League, and is three short of his career high set with Minnesota in 2009. Kubel's 77 RBIs are second in the league.

Nieves hit a home run in his first start with the D-backs after joining the team Monday, when Henry Blanco was placed on the disabled list because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

"It's huge," admitted Nieves, who hit a high breaking pitch from Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez into the left field seats with two out in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the D-backs a 4-3 lead.

"We're fighting for a spot in the playoffs. Helping the team any way I can is what I am trying to do. I was a little nervous. He threw me a lot of breaking balls. Too many in a row. He gave me some good ones, but he hung that one."

The D-backs hit 17 home runs to finish 6-4 on their 10-game trip that included stops in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

New third baseman Chris Johnson hit five home runs, and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Kubel each hit three. Shortstop Stephen Drew and catcher Miguel Montero each connected twice.

Kubel had two-run home runs in the first and seventh innings, returning to the lineup after being held out for the first time in 21 games on Wednesday.

"The second one, he was so upset after his previous at-bat that he said he was going to hit one to center field," manager Kirk Gibson said. "I told him just to hit a single to center. He said it was going to start out that way."

The D-backs had seven multiple-home run games and hit three home runs in three of the last five games on the trip. Home runs accounted for 33 of their 49 runs on the trip, which started with a three-game sweep in Los Angeles.

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