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Detroit at Pittsburgh

Venue: PNC Park

A.J. Burnett is in position to match the longest winning streak of his career. His current string of winning starts began with a victory over the Detroit Tigers.

The right-hander tries to win his seventh consecutive start Friday night when the Pittsburgh Pirates face the surging Tigers at PNC Park.

Burnett (7-2, 3.52 ERA) is 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA in eight starts - all Pittsburgh (36-32) victories - since losing at St. Louis on May 2. He's posted a 2.17 ERA while winning six straight starts for the first time since July 23-Aug. 19, 2008, with Toronto.

In his most recent outing Saturday, Burnett allowed two solo homers in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-2 win at Cleveland.

"It's fun to take the mound for a bunch of guys like this," Burnett told the Pirates' official website. "They come out and play hard every day."

Burnett, who won seven straight starts for the Florida Marlins from July 19-Aug. 19, 2005, began his current stretch of consecutive winning decisions May 19 when he yielded a two-run homer to Prince Fielder in six innings of a 4-3 victory at Detroit. It was Pittsburgh's only win in the three-game set at Comerica Park where it totaled seven runs.

In 10 starts, including a 10-1 victory at Detroit in Game 4 of the AL division series last year, Burnett is 6-2 with a 5.47 ERA against the Tigers.

He will try to help prevent Detroit (34-35) from moving back to .500 for the first time since it was 18-18 on May 15. Quintin Berry's RBI single in the 10th inning Thursday sent the Tigers to their eighth win in 11 games, 2-1 over St. Louis.

That run leaves the third-place Tigers 2 1/2 games out of first place in the mediocre AL Central.

"The way we're playing, we're fighting for everything we get," reliever Phil Coke told the Tigers' official website. "But instead of coming up short, it's kind of swinging in our favor now."

Fielder, who homered for the first time in 10 games Thursday, is 11 for 22 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his last six versus Pittsburgh. Two of his three hits in eight at-bats against Burnett left the park.

Doug Fister (1-3, 2.68) makes his first appearance versus Pittsburgh looking to build on his first win of 2012. Fresh off his second stint on the disabled list with a strained left side, Fister allowed three hits in six scoreless innings of a 4-1 win over Colorado on Saturday.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction," he said. "I didn't have any pain, and I executed pitches when I needed them. I feel very good."

Fister faces a Pirates club that has won four of five overall and 10 of 12 at home to move within two games of first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones each drove in three runs while James McDonald pitched his first career complete game in Pittsburgh's 9-1 victory over Minnesota on Thursday.

Though the Pirates rank near the bottom of the majors with 239 runs, they have scored nine in three of the last five games.

McCutchen is 11 for 21 with five RBIs over the last five contests. His two home runs were the only hits he had in 11 at-bats at Detroit last month. However, he is 8 for 20 (.400) in six games against the Tigers at PNC Park.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Doug Fister, RHP
2012 stats
40.1 Innings Pitched 69.0
1-3 Wins-Losses 7-2
2.68 Earned Run Average 3.52
9 Walks 24
30 Strikeouts 58
89 Pitches Per Start 96
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched 48.2
--- Wins-Losses 5-2
- Earned Run Average 5.92

A.J. Burnett, RHP
weather image  Isolated tstorms. Partly sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Detroit1st AL Central8468.553-7-3 L 2
Pittsburgh2nd NL Central8270.5392 ½ 8-2 W 4
vs A.J. Burnett
vs Doug Fister
Game Odds
Detroit -110 Pittsburgh 100
A. AvilaHead
A. DirksBack
J. HanrahanElbow
J. IglesiasShin
P. McCoyHamstring
L. PutkonenElbow
B. RondonElbow
A. SanchezPectoral
J. VerlanderThumb
P. AlvarezFoot
C. MortonHernia
Series Game Log
Apr 11MILMIL 4-2Peralta Liriano 
Apr 12MILMIL 3-2Henderson Melancon 
Apr 13MILMIL 4-1Lohse Morton 
Apr 17PITPIT 11-2Volquez Wooten 
Apr 18PITMIL 5-3Lohse Morton 
Apr 19PITMIL 8-7Henderson Grilli 
Apr 20PITMIL 3-2Duke Gomez 
May 13MILMIL 5-2Estrada Cole 
May 14MILPIT 4-1Watson Rodriguez 
May 15MILMIL 4-3Wooten Melancon 
Jun 6PITPIT 15-5Cumpton Lohse 
Jun 7PITMIL 9-3Garza Volquez 
Jun 8PITMIL 1-0Gallardo Locke 
Aug 22MILPIT 8-3Locke Gallardo 
Aug 23MILPIT 10-2Volquez Peralta 
Aug 24MILMIL 4-3Fiers Worley 
Sep 19PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 20PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21PIT 1:35 PM EDT