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Burnett scatters six hits over seven-plus to win 11th game

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Toiling in 92-degree sunshine, A.J. Burnett appreciated words of encouragement from fellow pitcher Dontrelle Willis.

"Dontrelle is out there yelling at me, `I'm with you, I'm with you. I know it's hot, but I'm with you,'" Burnett said with a smile. "He's sitting in the shade saying all that."

Burnett held up well enough in the Florida heat to win his sixth consecutive start Sunday, helping the Marlins beat the San Francisco Giants 4-1.

Burnett (11-6) took a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning, then departed after giving up three consecutive singles to load the bases. Antonio Alfonseca and Todd Jones finished.

"I've been in a good zone lately," Burnett said. "We're going to go as far as our starting staff takes us."

Starters Burnett, Willis, Josh Beckett and Brian Moehler have given up a total of three runs in the past four games, helping Florida close within two games of NL wild-card leader Houston.

"We've got a chance to do something great," Burnett said.

The hard-throwing right-hander, who threw a three-hit shutout in his last start to beat Arizona, has an ERA of 1.43 during his winning streak. It began after he became the subject of trade rumors, which ended only when the trade deadline passed July 31.

"Keep the rumors going," manager Jack McKeon joked. "As long as his name was out there being traded, the better he has pitched. So keep trading him."

Burnett, who threw 101 pitches, said he has been more successful since starting to rely more on his sinker. His strikeouts are down -- he had five Sunday -- but so is his pitch count.

He improved to 27-15 in the Marlins' ballpark, breaking the stadium record for victories he shared with Brad Penny.

"It's not really a big record, because nobody sticks around here for too long," said Burnett, a free agent after this season. "Records are like 3000 K's and 300 wins."

Juan Pierre celebrated his 28th birthday with two hits, scored twice and drove in a run. He also made a diving catch of pinch-hitter Randy Winn's fly to short center field with two on to end the game.

Alfonseca got Edgardo Alfonzo to ground into a bases-loaded double play in the eighth, scoring a run, and Pedro Feliz then struck out to end the inning. Jones pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances.

Brad Hennessey (4-5) allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He has the worst run support of any Giants starter and left trailing 4-0.

"Sometimes you feel like you have to go out there and be perfect," he said. "You can't let that affect you."

Florida and San Francisco combined for nine runs in the series, with the Marlins winning two of three games.

"We had a shot at winning or losing all three games," San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. "It was a matter of not being able to deliver a hit here and there."

The Giants fell to 2-4 on their season-high 13-game trip.

Matt Treanor doubled in the third for the Marlins, who then came up with a pair of two-out RBI hits -- a triple by Pierre and a single by Damion Easley -- for a 2-0 lead.

Florida scored twice more in the fifth. Pierre singled and took third on a two-out double by Miguel Cabrera, who ended an 0-for-13 skid. Carlos Delgado was intentionally walked, and Alou's strategy backfired when Hennessey hit Juan Encarnacion with a pitch to force in a run, then walked Mike Lowell to score another for a 4-0 Florida lead.

Notes

  • Giants C Yamid Haad singled in the third for his first major-league hit. He had been 0-for-9. 3B Lowell robbed Haad of another hit in the fifth, making a barehanded grab to throw him out.
  • The Marlins won the season series 4-2. Florida is 41-67 against San Francisco.
  • Marlins SS Alex Gonzalez went 0-for-4 and stranded seven runners.
 
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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A.J. Burnett tips his cap to the Marlins faithful after another solid outing against the Giants.  (AP)
A.J. Burnett tips his cap to the Marlins faithful after another solid outing against the Giants. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

J. Pierre
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Florida

A. Burnett
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 2
K 5
 

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San Francisco Giants
Jason Ellison, CF3010101 .277
J.T. Snow, 1B4010000 .271
Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B4010001 .293
Pedro Feliz, LF4000013 .260
Ray Durham, 2B3010110 .301
Todd Linden, RF4010023 .176
Deivi Cruz, SS4010021 .255
Yamid Haad, C3010011 .091
   a- Lance Niekro, PH1000012 .273
Brad Hennessey, P1000000 .136
    Brian Cooper, P0000000 .500
   b- Michael Tucker, PH1110000 .248
    Jeremy Accardo, P0000000 .000
   c- Randy Winn, PH1000002 .273
Totals331802814 
a-struck out for Haad in the 9th
b-singled for Cooper in the 8th
c-flied out for Accardo in the 9th
Batting
SH - Brad Hennessey (1)
Team LOB - 8
San Francisco Giants
Brad Hennessey (L,4-5) 4.2644410 5.68
Brian Cooper 2.1100220 1.80
Jeremy Accardo 1000010 4.70
IBB - Delgado by Brad Hennessey
HBP - Encarnacion (by Brad Hennessey)
WP - Brad Hennessey (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Hennessey 88-49, Brian Cooper 47-29, Jeremy Accardo 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Hennessey 6-6, Brian Cooper 2-3
Batters Faced - Brad Hennessey 24, Brian Cooper 10, Jeremy Accardo 3
Florida Marlins
Juan Pierre, CF4221101 .263
Damion Easley, 2B4011002 .226
Miguel Cabrera, LF4110001 .341
Carlos Delgado, 1B2000210 .293
    Jeff Conine, 1B0000000 .305
Juan Encarnacion, RF2011100 .296
Mike Lowell, 3B2001202 .234
Alex Gonzalez, SS4000027 .273
Matt Treanor, C4120002 .213
A.J. Burnett, P2000001 .094
    Antonio Alfonseca, P0000000 .000
   a- Lenny Harris, PH1000010 .320
    Todd Jones, P0000000 .500
Totals294746416 
a-struck out for Alfonseca in the 8th
Batting
2B - Miguel Cabrera (33, Hennessey), Matt Treanor (7, Hennessey)
3B - Juan Pierre (10, Hennessey)
SH - A.J. Burnett (8)
RBI - Juan Pierre (31), Damion Easley (25), Juan Encarnacion (66), Mike Lowell (51)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Pierre (13), Damion Easley (10), Juan Encarnacion (30), Mike Lowell (22)
CS - Juan Pierre (13, 2nd base by Hennessey/Haad)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Lowell-Conine
Florida Marlins
A.J. Burnett (W,11-6) 7611250 3.04
Antonio Alfonseca (H,5) 1000010 2.51
Todd Jones (S,25) 1200020 1.20
WP - A.J. Burnett (10)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 101-63, Antonio Alfonseca 8-5, Todd Jones 23-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 10-6, Antonio Alfonseca 1-0
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 29, Antonio Alfonseca 2, Todd Jones 5
Game Information
Attendance - 26170
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 92
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Tim Timmons