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. Marcus Stroman gets a six-game suspension

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:53 PM EDT

    Marcus Stroman AP

    Good to see MLB make the smart call and suspend Stroman for headhunting.

  2. Got four minutes? See all 211 of Jose Altuve’s hits

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Jose Altuve Getty Getty Images

    Altuve is on pace for the most hits in a season since …

  3. Concussion ends John Jaso’s season for second straight year

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

    john jaso getty Getty Images

    This year he hit .264 with nine homers and a .767 OPS in 99 games, including 47 starts at catcher.

  4. The Orioles call up Christian Walker

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    orioles logo

    He’ll mash lefties (hopefully) and play some first base.

  5. Delmon Young’s playoff motto: “Keep your booty loose”

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Delmon Young Getty Images

    Despite playing for five different teams and in general not being particularly valuable Delmon Young is headed to the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

  6. Jake Peavy: 4.72 ERA for the Red Sox, 2.16 ERA for the Giants

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v New York Mets Getty Images

    When the Giants acquired Jake Peavy from the Red Sox in late July expectations were minimal.

  7. “Not looking good” for Giancarlo Stanton to play again this season

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    giancarlo stanton getty Getty Images

    “His mindset is he wants to come back and play. Ours is, absolutely, if it can happen.”

  8. Umpire Joe West suspended for one game for his part in the Jonathan Papelbon incident

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT

    Joe West Jonathan Papelbon AP

    Jonathan Papelbon got seven games for the crotch-grab. Joe West gets one game for the Papelbon grab.

  9. Hanley Ramirez to miss today’s game

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    Another day off for the Dodgers’ ailing shortstop.

  10. HBT Daily: The Orioles clinch after an improbably successful season

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Orioles celebrate AP

    Most people either thought the O’s would lose this year or, at the very least, thought they’d win differently. Either way: they are the AL East champs.

  11. Video: Fan catches home run ball, loses wedding ring

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Guy loses ring

    “Hey honey? I have some good news and some bad news . . . “

  12. Remember when people laughed at the Orioles hiring Dan Duquette?

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT

    Dan Duquette AP

    Or, at the very least doubted his ability to turn the Orioles around.

  13. Video: Dee Gordon is bored with your tired, conventional infield play

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    Dee Gordon

    He has decided to add difficulty to it. Like, playing second base while sitting on his but in the infield dirt. Or starting double plays from his stomach, for example.

  14. Joe Girardi and Joe Maddon at odds after Jeter was hit by a pitch last night

    Sep 17, 2014, 9:13 AM EDT

    Joe Girardi Getty Images

    Rays pitchers have hit Yankees batters five times in the past week. Joe Girardi is sick of it.

  15. Umpire ejects jackwagon fan heckling Bryce Harper in Atlanta last night

    Sep 17, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT

    Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

    And the Braves and their announcers bear some of the blame for this baloney.

  16. And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 17, 2014, 7:08 AM EDT

    Washington Nationals Celebrate AP

    Beer showers on the Beltway as the Nats and Orioles both clinch

Featured video

Orioles turn AL East on its head
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (3932)
  2. R. Castillo (2851)
  3. A. Rizzo (2575)
  4. B. Belt (2261)
  5. A. Pujols (2251)
  1. H. Ryu (2107)
  2. C. Young (2057)
  3. J. Hamilton (2023)
  4. C. Davis (1915)
  5. E. Gattis (1911)