PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — After a sub-par team pitching performance Tuesday night, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett righted the ship and pitched seven strong innings of one-run baseball.
In turn, the Bucco bats delivered just enough run support to earn a 2-1 win against Cincinnati Wednesday night. The win gave the Pirates their second straight series win and brought their overall record back to .500 at 25-25.
Pittsburgh has won five of its last six games.
Burnett allowed just two hits in his seven innings. At one point he retired 15 straight batters.
Burnett held Cincinnati without a hit from the final out of the third inning to the first batter of the seventh inning.
Cincinnati’s only edge on Burnett came in the first inning. Zack Cozart hit a leadoff ground rule double to the notch in left-center field. After he was moved to third base on a bunt, Brandon Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to left field for a 1-0 lead.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto was nearly as impressive, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits. He held the Pirates scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when Matt Hague doubled to center field, scoring Neil Walker and Garrett Jones.
With a 2-1 lead, Burnett pitched a scoreless seventh, followed by a scoreless eight from Jason Grilli and the save from Joel Hanrahan to close out the ninth.
- Jordy Mercer made his first MLB start against Cincinnati and played shortstop. He recorded his first MLB hit in the first inning with a single to right field.