A.J. Burnett and three Pittsburgh relief pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout on Thursday night, and the Pirates post a 5-0 home win against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Burnett (1-2) tossed a no-hitter for 6-and-two-thirds innings until allowing a double to Carlos Beltran. He finished the seventh inning, and Mark Melancon, Tony Watson and Jason Grilli combined to finish the one-hitter. Burnett lowered his ERA to 2.62, and struck out sight batters to bring his strikeout total to 35 in 24 innings. He reached the 2,000 career strikeout level, and now stands fourth among active pitchers behind Andy Pettitte (2,327), C.C. Sabathia (2,232) and Roy Halladay (2,080).
The Pirates (7-7) scored the game’s first run in the first inning on a Starling Marte triple and a single by Travis Snider. Neil Walker drove home Andrew McCutchen with a sixth-inning single. Russell Martin scored on a seventh-inning error. The Bucs added two more runs on a pinch-hit RBI double by Gaby Sanchez and a single by Pedro Alvarez.
For St. Louis (8-6), starter Shelby Miller (2-1; 1.96 ERA) sustained the loss, allowing two runs and six hits over six innings.
Pittsburgh will open a four-game home series with Atlanta (12-2) on Thursday night at 7:05 PM with Jeff Locke (1-1) penciled in as the Bucs’ starting pitcher.