Pittsburgh at Philadelphia

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (40-35) «500000000571
Philadelphia (36-42)020001010490

Burnett tops Phils, wins eighth straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- A new catcher didn't affect A.J. Burnett's groove.

Burnett threw 6 2/3 sharp innings to win his eighth consecutive start, Casey McGehee hit a three-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 on Thursday.

Pedro Alvarez also went deep for Pittsburgh, which split the four-game set in Philadelphia by winning the last two. The surprising Pirates, seeking their first winning season since 1992, are 40-35 and second in the NL Central.

Burnett (9-2) allowed three runs and six hits, striking out seven. The winning streak is his longest, and it's the first time a Pirates pitcher has won eight in a row since Dock Ellis in 1974.

Michael McKenry caught Burnett for the first time because starter Rod Barajas is injured.

"I was really impressed with McKenry," Burnett said. "He was outstanding. I can't say enough about him. It was a pleasure to work with him. He picked up where Rod left off."

Joel Hanrahan tossed a scoreless ninth for his 20th save in 22 tries. He retired Hunter Pence on a shallow fly with the tying run on third to end it.

Erik Kratz and Pence hit home runs for the Phillies.

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The Pirates jumped on Kyle Kendrick (2-8) for five runs before he recorded a second out in the first.

"Gave us a chance to win, pitched deep into the game, which they needed me to," Kendrick said. "We came up short."

Drew Sutton led off with an infield single and Neil Walker walked. One out later, Garrett Jones hit an RBI single. McGehee followed with a three-run shot to left. Alvarez then lined one out to right to make it 5-0.

McGehee has five home runs and 15 RBI in June after driving in only six runs with no homers in the first two months.

"I think at one point I was trying to do too much," McGehee said. "I was with a new team trying to make a good impression. Then I went back to just trying to hit the ball up the middle of the field."

Kratz connected off Burnett in the second to cut it to 5-2.

Burnett retired nine straight before consecutive singles by Shane Victorino and Pence put runners on first and third with one out in the sixth. Placido Polanco's fielder's choice grounder scored Victorino to cut it to 5-3.

Pence led off the bottom of the eighth with a shot off Jason Grilli for his first home run since June 2 and 14th of the year. Pence snapped a 98 at-bat homerless drought.

Grilli pitched out of a jam with two runners on to preserve the lead. He struck out pinch-hitter Jim Thome and retired pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz on a foul pop. First baseman McGehee made a nice running catch and held onto the ball after stumbling into the first row down the right-field line.

"We got some tough outs from Grilli and Joel," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

Kendrick settled down nicely after the awful start. He gave up five runs and six hits in seven innings.

This was Burnett's first appearance in Philadelphia since losing to Cliff Lee and the Phillies in Game 5 of the 2009 World Series. Burnett beat Pedro Martinez in Game 2 that year and the New York Yankees prevented the Phillies from repeating as world champions by taking the Series in six games.

The Phillies finished 5-5 on their longest homestand of the season. The five-time defending NL East champions fell to last place and are 36-42, including 17-24 at home.

Notes

  • Phillies designated RHP Chad Qualls for assignment and called up RHP Brian Sanches and LHP Jeremy Horst.
  • 1B Ryan Howard is set to start a rehab stint at Class A Lakewood on Thursday night. The 2006 NL MVP hasn't played for the Phillies this season after tearing his left Achilles' tendon last October.
  • Burnett is 6-0 on the road.
  • The Pirates went back-to-back for the third time this season.
  • The Phillies had their 261st consecutive sellout, including postseason games.
  • Lee (0-4, 3.72) tries again for his first victory when the Phillies open a three-game series in Miami on Friday night.
  • Kevin Correia (3-6, 4.03) starts for the Pirates in St. Louis on Friday.
 
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 strikes out seven and becomes the first Pirate since 1974 (Dock Ellis) to win eight starts in a row. (Getty Images)
A.J. Burnett strikes out seven and becomes the first Pirate since 1974 (Dock Ellis) to win eight starts in a row. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

C. McGehee
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Philadelphia

E. Kratz
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Sutton, LF3110100 .304
    Alex Presley, PR-LF0000100 .230
Neil Walker, 2B4110113 .263
Andrew McCutchen, CF5000024 .336
Garrett Jones, RF4121000 .250
    Jason Grilli, P0000000 .000
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Casey McGehee, 1B3113101 .234
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3111101 .225
Clint Barmes, SS4000033 .196
Michael McKenry, C3010110 .241
A.J. Burnett, P3000011 .045
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
    Jose Tabata, RF0000000 .226
Totals3257568  
Batting
2B - Garrett Jones (10, Sanches)
HR - Casey McGehee (5, Kendrick), Pedro Alvarez (14, Kendrick)
SH - Jose Tabata (4)
RBI - Garrett Jones (28), Casey McGehee 3 (21), Pedro Alvarez (36)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Garrett Jones (2, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
A.J. Burnett (W,9-2) 6.2633271 3.31
Juan Cruz (H,13) 0.1000100 2.73
Jason Grilli (H,18) 1211021 2.05
Joel Hanrahan (S,20) 1100010 2.10
HBP - Polanco (by Jason Grilli)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 101-69, Juan Cruz 8-2, Jason Grilli 18-13, Joel Hanrahan 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 11-2, Joel Hanrahan 1-1
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 28, Juan Cruz 2, Jason Grilli 6, Joel Hanrahan 4
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS4010120 .268
Juan Pierre, LF3010100 .315
Shane Victorino, CF5120014 .253
Hunter Pence, RF5121013 .277
Placido Polanco, 3B3001000 .278
Ty Wigginton, 1B3110111 .250
Mike Fontenot, 2B4010013 .319
Erik Kratz, C3112010 .286
   a- Jim Thome, PH1000012 .242
    Jeremy Horst, P0000000 .000
Kyle Kendrick, P2000010 .071
   b- Chase Utley, PH1000010 .500
    Brian Sanches, P0000000 .000
   c- Carlos Ruiz, PH-C1000002 .362
Totals35494310  
a-struck out for Kratz in the 8th
b-struck out for Kendrick in the 7th
c-fouled out for Sanches in the 8th
Batting
HR - Hunter Pence (14, Grilli), Erik Kratz (2, Burnett)
SH - Juan Pierre (5)
RBI - Hunter Pence (45), Placido Polanco (18), Erik Kratz 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Erik Kratz 2 (2)
SB - Jimmy Rollins (13, 3rd base off Hanrahan/McKenry), Juan Pierre (18, 2nd base off Burnett/McKenry)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Kratz-Rollins-Fontenot
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Kendrick (L,2-8) 7655362 5.35
Brian Sanches 1100110 9.00
Jeremy Horst 1000210 0.00
IBB - Alvarez by Brian Sanches
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Kendrick 108-70, Brian Sanches 22-13, Jeremy Horst 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Kendrick 4-10, Brian Sanches 1-1, Jeremy Horst 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Kendrick 29, Brian Sanches 5, Jeremy Horst 5
Game Information
Attendance - 44521
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Tim McClelland