Skip to content

A.J. Burnett pitches Pirates past Reds to take lead in NL Wild Card

Sep 21, 2013, 10:45 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, who earlier today told the media he is still considering retiring after the 2013 season, turned in a gem against the division and Wild Card rival Reds. The Reds went ahead early on a Ryan Ludwick RBI single in the first inning and a Zack Cozart solo home run in the second. Pirates catcher Russell Martin launched a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom half of the second to knot the game at two apiece. In the sixth, the Pirates scored twice on a Marlon Byrd sacrifice fly and an opposite-field RBI single by Pedro Alvarez against lefty reliever Zach Duke.

Burnett settled down after the first two innings, holding the Reds scoreless in five consecutive innings. After completing the seventh, he had allowed just the two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out twelve. The outing marks Burnett’s season-high in strikeouts and the most he has logged in a game since August 27 against the Rangers when he was with the Yankees.

Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson teamed up for a scoreless eighth inning, with Wilson inducing a crucial inning-ending double play against Joey Votto. Jason Grilli made his first ninth-inning appearance since July 22, before he landed on the disabled list with a strained right flexor tendon. Ludwick led off with a single, but he was erased when Jay Bruce bounced into a 4-6-3 double play. Grilli got Cozart grounded out to shortstop to end the game, his 31st save of the season and his first July 21.

With the Cardinals defeating the Brewers, the Pirates remain two games back in the NL Central while the Reds drop to three games out. In the NL Wild Card, the Pirates take a one-game lead over the Reds for the first NL Wild Card slot. Though both teams are a sustained Nationals hot streak away from qualifying for both spots, the winner of the first Wild Card slot gets home field advantage in the one-game playoff.

Latest Posts
  1. Denard Span activated from 7-day concussion disabled list

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    denard span getty Getty Images

    Denard Span had no issues during a brief minor league rehab assignment.

  2. Cesar Cabral designated for assignment by Yankees after rough night on the mound

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT

    Cesar Cabral AP AP

    Cesar Cabral was ejected after hitting three batters Friday against the Rays. And then his night got worse.

  3. Report: MLB likely to adjust rules for plays at home and transfer catches

    Apr 19, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

    transfer rule

    Adjustments to each rule could be made soon.

  4. VIDEO: Albert Pujols’ 497th career home run

    Apr 19, 2014, 9:21 AM EDT

    Albert Pujols AP AP

    Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is closing in on a milestone.

  5. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Apr 19, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT

    Aaron Hill AP AP

    They needed extra innings to do it, but the Diamondbacks snapped a six-game losing streak last night and finally got a win against the Dodgers.

  6. Unwritten rules lead to hard feelings in Astros-A’s game

    Apr 19, 2014, 3:24 AM EDT

    lowrie porter 2

    Can’t someone please write these things down so we can all keep track?

  7. Martin Maldonado literally hit the cover off of a baseball

    Apr 19, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT

    Martin Maldonado Martin Maldonado

    One of baseball’s older cliches came true on Friday night thanks to Martin Maldonado.

  8. Blue Jays activate Jose Reyes, place Adam Lind on the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

    Jose Reyes Jose Reyes

    The Blue Jays get a shortstop back, but lose their designated hitter.

  9. Jeff Samardzija says he wants a big-money contract to help future players

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija Jeff Samardzija

    Jeff Samardzija unselfishly wants to get paid. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

  10. White Sox place Donnie Veal on outright waivers

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    Donnie Veal Donnie Veal

    After consistent battles with his control, Donnie Veal ran out of chances with the White Sox.

  11. Jason Bartlett will retire after 10 years in the big leagues

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

    Jason Bartlett will call it quits after playing shortstop in the big leagues over ten seasons.

  12. Update: Luis Avilan loses Aaron Harang’s no-hitter with two outs in the eighth inning

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:19 PM EDT

    Aaron Harang Aaron Harang

    One of the most unlikely pitchers to throw a no-hitter is working on a no-hitter.

  13. Brewers sign Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Jeremy Jeffress Jeremy Jeffress

    The Brewers got their first round pick from the 2006 draft back.

  14. Diamondbacks activate Cody Ross from the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Getty Images

    The Diamondbacks will get some power back in their lineup as Cody Ross returns.

  15. Red Sox designate Ryan Roberts for assignment, call up Brock Holt

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Ryan Roberts Ryan Roberts

    Ryan Roberts wasn’t hitting; Brock Holt was, so the Red Sox decided to make a change with Will Middlebrooks still recovering from an injury.

  16. Pirates acquire Ike Davis in a trade with the Mets

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

    Ike Davis Ike Davis

    The Pirates and Mets each address their problems with an Ike Davis trade.

  17. Hanley Ramirez back in the Dodgers’ lineup Friday

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    Hanley Ramirez only spent one day out of the lineup after being hit in the hand with a fastball.

  18. Manny Machado could start a rehab assignment next week

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Manny Machado Manny Machado

    Manny Machado could soon take the next step towards returning to third base for the Orioles.

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5177)
  2. G. Springer (3753)
  3. K. Uehara (3407)
  4. M. Machado (3191)
  5. D. Pedroia (2913)
  1. J. Reyes (2809)
  2. J. Chavez (2749)
  3. H. Ramirez (2723)
  4. T. Walker (2639)
  5. C. Granderson (2541)