|Kansas City (24-34)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||2||6||2|
|Pittsburgh (32-27) «||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||x||3||5||0|
"We didn't care if we walked him," manager Ned Yost said.
Sound strategy, poor execution.
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McCutchen homered and drove in three runs,A.J. Burnett won his fifth consecutive start and the Pittsburgh Pirates finished their first sweep of an AL team in more than a decade by beating the Royals 3-2 Sunday.
McCutchen hit an RBI double in the first inning and hit a two-run homer in the third. That gave Burnett (6-2) and three relievers enough support for the Pirates to win their fourth in a row despite having only three hits from all their other players.
"The fact that McCutchen was the one who hurt us, that's the fact I'm very concerned about," Kansas City catcher Brayan Pena said.
McCutchen has feasted on left-handers, improving his average to .463 against them after two hits in his first two at-bats against Bruce Chen.
This was the 50th interleague series the Pirates had played since taking three in a row from the Cleveland Indians on June 15-17, 2001.
Since May 25, the Pirates have the best record in the majors at 12-3.
"This weekend was outstanding," Burnett said. "We are playing good ball now and we are hitting on a couple of cylinders and it's fun to watch."
Burnett allowed two runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Pittsburgh has won his past seven starts.
Burnett had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings until Gordon singled with one out in the sixth. He did not allow a baserunner until Eric Hosmer drew a two-out walk in the fourth or a run until Escobar's two-out double scored Pena in the seventh.
That snapped a streak of 20 consecutive innings without an earned run at PNC Park for Burnett. He is 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA at home this season.
"He had good tempo and good rhythm today on a hot day, and he was really efficient with things," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a very, very solid performance all across the board for A.J. today."
Tony Watson came on with runners at first and third and one out in the eighth, allowing Gordon to score on a Hosmer fielder's choice.
With closer Joel Hanrahan unavailable because he had appeared in the past three games, Jason Grilli worked around trouble the ninth for his fourth career save and first of the season. With two on and no outs, Grilli stuck out Gordon and Johnny Giavotella to end the game.
Pittsburgh improved to 17-10 in one-run games.
McCutchen entered the game with 15 hits in his past 27 at-bats against left-handers. Despite going hitless over the first two games of the series, he made it 17 for 29 over the course of the first three innings.
"I hadn't been feeling that great the past few days, but after a few times out in the cage, I was able to put a show forth today," McCutchen said.
His first-inning double to right drove in Alex Presley, who led off the inning with a single. With Neil Walker on and two outs in the third, McCutchen lifted a 1-2 pitch from Chen into the left-field bleachers for his 11th homer of the season.
"He's leading everybody hitting left-handers," Yost said. "We really tried, even in the first inning, we didn't want to throw him a strike."
Chen (5-6) allowed three runs on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts in five innings. He came into the game with five wins in his past six starts but fell to 0-4 in his career at PNC Park.
The Royals have lost 24 of their past 33 games against NL teams.
|The Pirates' A.J. Burnett allows two runs in 7 1/3 innings to defeat the Royals for his fifth straight victory. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|Alex Gordon, LF||5||1||2||0||0||2||2||.243|
|Johnny Giavotella, 2B||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.217|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||3||0||0||1||1||0||1||.223|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.273|
|a- Billy Butler, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.294|
|Greg Holland, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brayan Pena, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.257|
|Mitch Maier, RF||3||0||0||0||1||2||4||.190|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||3||0||2||1||0||1||0||.288|
|Jarrod Dyson, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.259|
|Bruce Chen, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Clint Robinson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Nate Adcock, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Yuniesky Betancourt, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.267|
|a-walked for Moustakas in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Chen in the 6th|
|c-struck out for Adcock in the 8th|
|2B - Brayan Pena (8, Burnett), Alcides Escobar (14, Burnett)|
|SH - Jarrod Dyson (2)|
|RBI - Eric Hosmer (30), Alcides Escobar (14)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alcides Escobar (7)|
|SB - Alex Gordon (3, 2nd base off Burnett/Barajas), Eric Hosmer (5, 2nd base off Burnett/Barajas), Mitch Maier (2, 2nd base off Burnett/Barajas), Alcides Escobar (10, 3rd base off Burnett/Barajas)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Jarrod Dyson 1|
|DP - Dyson-Giavotella-Hosmer|
|E - Alcides Escobar (8, Dropped line drive), Mike Moustakas (7, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Bruce Chen (L,5-6)||5||4||3||3||1||5||1||4.44|
|IBB - A. McCutchen by Bruce Chen|
|HBP - McGehee (by Bruce Chen)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bruce Chen 79-56, Nate Adcock 24-15, Greg Holland 13-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 7-4, Nate Adcock 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 22, Nate Adcock 8, Greg Holland 3|
|Alex Presley, LF||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.234|
|Neil Walker, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||.275|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||3||1||2||3||1||0||0||.325|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.203|
|Matt Hague, 1B||2||0||0||0||1||1||2||.208|
|Jose Tabata, RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.221|
|Rod Barajas, C||4||0||0||0||0||3||1||.239|
|Josh Harrison, RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.218|
|a- Garrett Jones, PH-RF^1B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Clint Barmes, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.192|
|A.J. Burnett, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.059|
|Tony Watson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Juan Cruz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Grilli, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Harrison in the 6th|
|2B - Andrew McCutchen (10, Chen)|
|HR - Andrew McCutchen (11, Chen)|
|RBI - Andrew McCutchen 3 (36)|
|2-OUT RBI - Andrew McCutchen 2 (15)|
|SB - Alex Presley (6, 2nd base off Chen/B. Pena), Andrew McCutchen (11, 3rd base off Chen/B. Pena)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Barmes-Hague|
|A.J. Burnett (W,6-2)||7.1||5||2||2||2||6||0||3.61|
|Tony Watson (H,6)||0.1||0||0||0||1||0||0||3.50|
|Juan Cruz (H,11)||0.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||2.08|
|Jason Grilli (S,1)||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||1.50|
|HBP - Escobar (by A.J. Burnett)|
|WP - A.J. Burnett (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 107-71, Tony Watson 10-5, Juan Cruz 9-4, Jason Grilli 22-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 10-5, Tony Watson 1-0, Jason Grilli 1-0|
|Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 29, Tony Watson 2, Juan Cruz 2, Jason Grilli 5|
|Attendance - 25752|
|Game Time - 2:55|
|Temperature - 85|
|Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - D.J. Reyburn, Third Base - Jim Wolf|