Pittsburgh at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: A. Burnett (4-6) L: J. Samardzija (3-7)
HR: PIT - P. Alvarez (13),R. Martin (7)   CHC - A. Soriano (7)

Burnett solid into ninth in Pirates' win over Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Only the complete game and shutout eluded Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett in a stadium where he loves to pitch.

Burnett pitched into the ninth inning and Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin homered to lead the Pirates to a 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

"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."


  • Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens, on the disabled list since March 26 with a shoulder inflammation, had surgery Friday on his right rotator cuff and labrum in Los Angeles. He'll be able to begin a rehab process in 10 to 12 weeks.
  • The Pirates placed RHP Jared Hughes on the 15-day disabled list with a throwing shoulder inflammation and recalled OF Alex Presley from Triple-A Indianapolis. Presley had been sent down Monday when Hughes was called up. Hughes has returned to Pittsburgh for more evaluation.
  • Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fuikawa, who went on the 60-day DL May 27 with a muscular strain in his right forearm, is expected to have surgery Tuesday after an exam on Monday.
  • Cubs SS Starlin Castro, dropped from second to seventh in the order on June 4, continued to struggle. He went 0 for 3 and is mired in a 3-for-34 slump.
  • Sunday's pitchers: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.45) vs. Chicago right-hander Edwin Jackson (1-8, 6.29).
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Starling Marte comes around to score for Pittsburgh to back a strong outing from A.J. Burnett. (USATSI)
Starling Marte comes around to score for Pittsburgh to back a strong outing from A.J. Burnett. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

P. Alvarez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

A. Soriano
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte, LF4120010 .280
Travis Snider, RF4011010 .241
Andrew McCutchen, CF3110111 .280
Garrett Jones, 1B4110013 .260
    Gaby Sanchez, 1B0000000 .236
Russell Martin, C3212101 .251
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4123010 .207
Neil Walker, 2B4010010 .254
Clint Barmes, SS4000021 .204
A.J. Burnett, P4000030 .037
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .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
Pittsburgh Pirates
A.J. Burnett (W,4-6) 8.1422351 3.12
Tony Watson 0.2000000 4.30
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
Chicago Cubs
David DeJesus, CF4010011 .273
Luis Valbuena, 3B3000110 .241
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3110110 .257
Alfonso Soriano, LF4112003 .271
Nate Schierholtz, RF4010000 .288
Welington Castillo, C4000011 .254
Starlin Castro, SS3000001 .247
Darwin Barney, 2B2000101 .210
Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .105
   a- Julio Borbon, PH1000000 .229
    Zach Putnam, P0000000 .000
    Hector Rondon, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Sweeney, PH1000010 .340
    Blake Parker, P0000000 .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
Chicago Cubs
Jeff Samardzija (L,3-7) 6844171 3.18
Zach Putnam 1000030 15.43
Hector Rondon 1122101 6.75
Blake Parker 1000010 0.00
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
Game Information
Attendance - 38405
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Jordan Baker