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Pittsburgh at San Diego

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (74-51) «201000500891
San Diego (56-70)000100000161

Burnett stifles Padres as Pirates pad NL Central lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- Until Tuesday night, the only time A.J. Burnett had beaten the San Diego Padres was on May 12, 2001, when he threw a no-hitter against them while with the Marlins.

"Was that the only time? There you go. You walk nine, you beat them every time," Burnett joked Tuesday night.

Twelve years after that erratic gem, Burnett pitched seven strong innings against the Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates had six extra-base hits, including Neil Walker's home run, to beat San Diego 8-1 Tuesday night.

"I had guys diving left and right behind me today and they were swinging the bat," said Burnett, who is now 2-5 against San Diego. "It's just fun to see everybody in this room contribute to what's going on right now. I'm glad I was part of it tonight."

Burnett (6-8) held San Diego to one run and four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He bounced back from two starts in which he allowed 10 earned runs and 16 hits in 10 innings.

The Pirates opened a two-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis, which lost 6-3 at Milwaukee.

The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the third before Burnett struck out Yonder Alonso.

"His sixth inning was as good as any he had all night, pitching to the middle of the lineup," manager Clint Hurdle said. "So we decided when he came in 3-1, he was going back out. He had pitches to work with. He was able to reboot tonight. He used all his pitches. Very good outing for him."

Burnett was backed by some nice defense. Left fielder Jose Tabata made a diving catch of Alexi Amarista's sinking liner in the first. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez made a diving stop of Nick Hundley's grounder in the second and Walker, the second baseman, made a diving stop of Jaff Decker's grounder in the third.

Walker homered into the sandy play area beyond the fence in right-center on a 3-1 pitch from Tyson Ross with one out in the first. It was his eighth. Alvarez reached on second baseman Jedd Gyorko's throwing error and Russell Martin followed with an RBI double to right.

Alvarez tripled in the third to bring in Walker, who was hit by a pitch leading off the inning.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run triple in the seventh. His fly ball landed just in front of diving center fielder Alexi Amarista and rolled into the gap in right-center. After Alvarez and Russell Martin walked, pinch-hitter Josh Harrison tripled to right-center to clear the bases and cap the five-run inning.

"All our hits were to the big part of the field," Hurdle said. "Couple balls were pulled to the gap. Everything else, big part of the field, opposite. That was big for us tonight. Something we've been talking about, something we've been working on. We were able to put it in play tonight."

The Padres have lost 10 of 14 and tied their season high by dropping 17 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gyorko homered to left on a 1-2 pitch from Burnett leading off the fourth, his 14th.

"I was able to get to him the one time but he did a good job of mixing his pitches," Gyorko said. "Sometimes you don't always get the read you want to on the ball."

Ross (3-6) allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out six and walked two.

"It was a tough game. It was a bit of a struggle executing pitches early," Ross said. "But I did my best to keep the team in it. But Burnett did a good job."

Notes

The Pirates hit three triples for the third time this season. ... The series concludes Wednesday afternoon when Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.88 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Ian Kennedy (4-9, 5.12 ERA). .... Pirates closer Jason Grilli, on the disabled list since July 23 with a strained right forearm, is improving, although there is no timetable for his return. "Jason is moving forward at a very good fashion," manager Clint Hurdle said. ... OF Starling Marte didn't start for the second straight game because of a bruise on his right hand. He was stepped on during a head-first slide against the Arizona Diamondbacks. ... LHP Wandy Rodriguez will throw live batting practice Thursday before the Pirates begin a four-game series in San Francisco. Rodriguez said he continued to feel discomfort in his left arm after a bullpen session Monday. He went on the disabled list June 11 (retroactive to June 6) with left forearm tightness.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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A.J. Burnett -- whose previous win vs. San Diego was a no-hitter in '01 -- lifts the Bucs to a two-game lead in the division. (USATSI)
A.J. Burnett -- whose previous win vs. San Diego was a no-hitter in '01 -- lifts the Bucs to a two-game lead in the division. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

N. Walker
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Pittsburgh

A. Burnett
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 7
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, LF4000012 .260
Neil Walker, 2B4321010 .262
Andrew McCutchen, CF5112022 .316
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4211111 .234
Russell Martin, C3111202 .250
Garrett Jones, RF3000013 .241
   a-Josh Harrison, PH-RF1013000 .250
Gaby Sanchez, 1B4020001 .242
Jordy Mercer, SS4010012 .275
A.J. Burnett, P3100111 .064
Totals3589848  
a-tripled for G. Jones in the 7th
Batting
2B - Russell Martin (21, Ross), Gaby Sanchez (16, Ross)
3B - Andrew McCutchen (3, Thayer), Pedro Alvarez (2, Ross), Josh Harrison (2, Hynes)
HR - Neil Walker (8, Ross)
SH - Jose Tabata (4)
RBI - Neil Walker (37), Andrew McCutchen 2 (71), Pedro Alvarez (83), Russell Martin (46), Josh Harrison 3 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Andrew McCutchen 2 (21), Russell Martin (17), Josh Harrison 3 (6)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Pedro Alvarez (25, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
A.J. Burnett (W,6-8) 7411171 3.09
Vin Mazzaro 1100010 2.44
Jared Hughes 1100010 3.80
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 112-75, Vin Mazzaro 16-11, Jared Hughes 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 10-5, Vin Mazzaro 2-0, Jared Hughes 2-0
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 27, Vin Mazzaro 4, Jared Hughes 4
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Will Venable, RF4010010 .263
Alexi Amarista, CF3010100 .260
Yonder Alonso, 1B4000024 .286
Jedd Gyorko, 2B4111001 .251
Chase Headley, 3B4010030 .237
Nick Hundley, C4000011 .241
Jaff Decker, LF4010001 .174
Ronny Cedeno, SS3010011 .221
   a-Mark Kotsay, PH1000001 .195
Tyson Ross, P1000010 .143
   b-Logan Forsythe, PH-SS1000001 .213
Totals3316119  
a-grounded out for Stauffer in the 9th
b-flied out for Hynes in the 7th
Batting
3B - Alexi Amarista (4, Mazzaro)
HR - Jedd Gyorko (14, Burnett)
SH - Tyson Ross (2)
RBI - Jedd Gyorko (37)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Gyorko-Cedeno-Alonso
E - Jedd Gyorko (6, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tyson Ross (L,3-6) 6.1654261 2.85
Dale Thayer 0.1111000 2.89
Colt Hynes 0.1122200 11.12
Tim Stauffer 2100020 4.14
HBP - Walker (by Tyson Ross)
Pitches-Strikes - Tyson Ross 102-62, Dale Thayer 12-6, Colt Hynes 15-7, Tim Stauffer 27-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tyson Ross 10-3, Dale Thayer 1-0, Colt Hynes 1-0, Tim Stauffer 3-1
Batters Faced - Tyson Ross 28, Dale Thayer 2, Colt Hynes 4, Tim Stauffer 7
Game Information
Attendance - 21381
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Mike Muchlinski, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Paul Nauert