|Pittsburgh (37-25) «||0||1||1||2||0||0||0||2||0||6||9||0|
|Chi. Cubs (24-35)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||4||0|
"You program yourself," Burnett said after coming within two outs of his team's first complete game this season. "You want to finish what you started."
Burnett (4-6) gave up four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings to improve to 5-0 in his career at Wrigley Field. He had a shutout until Alfonso Soriano's two-run home run to left with one out in the ninth ended a string of 18 straight scoreless innings by Pirates pitchers.
"It was the only ball that hung," Burnett said of the shot by Soriano. "He did with it what you're supposed to do with it. I go back a long way with Sori. ... I've gotten him a few times, he's gotten me.
"But you know, you can bury that pitch right there and I've buried it."
Burnett held the Cubs hitless until Nate Schierholtz's double down the line in right leading off the fifth. He threw 112 pitches and left after Soriano's home run.
Burnett did not want to come out after allowing a single to Anthony Rizzo before Soriano's home run, and despite a mound conference, manager Clint Hurdle said he had no intention of removing his starter until 115 pitches or some runs scored.
"You've got to give men an opportunity to do certain things no matter where you are or who it is, and he's earned that opportunity," Hurdle said. "There's been many games he's given us everything he's had."
Burnett threw a one-hitter in his last start at Wrigley Field last July 31. He lost the no-hitter in the eighth inning with two outs in that outing.
"It's a good place," Burnett said. "It's a good environment. A day game, too.
"You come to Chicago and Wrigley Field, even as a Marlin I enjoyed coming here a long time ago. So it's fun to get out and play against these guys on their field in their stadium."
Soriano's homer was the 379th of his career, tying him with Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez for 64th on the all-time list.
But it was the Pirates doing almost all the hitting, as they gave Burnett some rare run support: They had scored three runs or less in six of his previous seven starts.
"The last couple times we haven't given him many runs," Alvarez said. "I don't care how good you are, it's always nice to pitch with some runs behind you."
The Pirates tagged Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (3-7) for eight hits, including Alvarez's two-run home run in the fourth, his team-high 13th of the year. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one in six innings.
"The splitter was up all day today," Samardzija said. "(They) got a couple of hits off of it. Alvarez's home run was off of it.
"They took advantage of (the splitter) up in the zone and they made me pay."
Martin's homer, a two-run shot in the eighth off reliever Hector Rondon, was the 100th of his career.
The Pirates jumped on Samardzija for a run in the second on Garrett Jones' double and Alvarez's one-out RBI single. Pittsburgh added a run in the third when Starling Marte ended a streak of 14 hitless at-bats with a single, stole second and came in on Travis Snider's single.
Alvarez homered to right field after Martin led off with a walk in the fourth to increase the Pirates' lead to 4-0.
In the eighth, Martin sent a 3-2 pitch by Rondon into the seats in left for a two-out home run after Andrew McCutchen had drawn a walk.
Pittsburgh beat Chicago for the fifth straight time and handed the Cubs their fifth loss in the last six games overall.
"It's hard to see those guys play the way they play and we cannot play like that," Soriano said. "Especially, we got shut out yesterday. I don't want it to happen today again. At least he didn't throw a shutout."
|Starling Marte comes around to score for Pittsburgh to back a strong outing from A.J. Burnett. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Starling Marte, LF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.280|
|Travis Snider, RF||4||0||1||1||0||1||0||.241|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.280|
|Garrett Jones, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.260|
|Gaby Sanchez, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.236|
|Russell Martin, C||3||2||1||2||1||0||1||.251|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||4||1||2||3||0||1||0||.207|
|Neil Walker, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.254|
|Clint Barmes, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.204|
|A.J. Burnett, P||4||0||0||0||0||3||0||.037|
|Tony Watson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|2B - Garrett Jones (13, Samardzija)|
|HR - Russell Martin (7, Rondon), Pedro Alvarez (13, Samardzija)|
|RBI - Travis Snider (19), Russell Martin 2 (17), Pedro Alvarez 3 (34)|
|2-OUT RBI - Russell Martin 2 (6)|
|SB - Starling Marte (16, 2nd base off Samardzija/Castillo)|
|CS - Starling Marte (8, 2nd base by Samardzija/Castillo)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|DP - Alvarez-Walker-G. Jones|
|A.J. Burnett (W,4-6)||8.1||4||2||2||3||5||1||3.12|
|Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 112-77, Tony Watson 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 11-8, Tony Watson 1-1|
|Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 31, Tony Watson 2|
|David DeJesus, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.273|
|Luis Valbuena, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.241|
|Anthony Rizzo, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.257|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||1||1||2||0||0||3||.271|
|Nate Schierholtz, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.288|
|Welington Castillo, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.254|
|Starlin Castro, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.247|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.210|
|Jeff Samardzija, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.105|
|a- Julio Borbon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.229|
|Zach Putnam, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Hector Rondon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Ryan Sweeney, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.340|
|Blake Parker, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Samardzija in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Rondon in the 8th|
|2B - Nate Schierholtz (16, Burnett)|
|HR - Alfonso Soriano (7, Burnett)|
|SH - Jeff Samardzija (6)|
|RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (26)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Barney-Rizzo|
|Jeff Samardzija (L,3-7)||6||8||4||4||1||7||1||3.18|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Samardzija 112-74, Zach Putnam 13-9, Hector Rondon 29-16, Blake Parker 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Samardzija 3-6, Hector Rondon 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Samardzija 25, Zach Putnam 3, Hector Rondon 5, Blake Parker 3|
|Attendance - 38405|
|Game Time - 2:53|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Jordan Baker|