(H. RUMPH JR, AP / FR61717 AP)
For Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, 2014 with the Phillies wasn’t exactly a season to be remembered. His 8-18 record was easily the worst of his professional career, while hitting a statistical high in 109 earned runs allowed.
Burnett (1-1, 1.66 ERA) was back on the hill at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night against the Phillies in his seventh start of the season.
Through the first five innings, Burnett allowed scattered just 3 hits, continuing his early season dominance.
The Phillies got on the board in the bottom half of the 6th inning after back to back doubles from pinch hitter Andres Blanco and left fielder Ben Revere, scoring 2 in the inning, only 1 of them earned.
Those were the only two runs Burnett or the Pirates bullpen would surrender the rest of the game. Burnett was pulled after 7 innings, giving up the 2 runs (1 earned), 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 batters.
For the Phillies, Sean O’Sullivan (0-1, 4.91 ERA) returned from the disabled list, making his first start since April 17.
Through 3 innings, O’Sullivan, while giving up a handful of hits, was on his game. Although he recorded no strikeouts, he forced the Pirate hitters to make outs.
The flood gates opened in the top half of the 4th as Starling Marte led off the inning after being hit by an inside pitch and Pedro Alvarez singled through the middle. After a Kang strikeout, O’Sullivan’s first of the night, Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison strolled to plate, launching a ball into the seats giving the Pirates the 3-0 lead.
O’Sullivan last just 1 more inning, turning the game over to the bullpen in the top half of the 6th inning. His final line: 5 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned run and 1 walk while striking out just 2.
The Pirates added 4 insurance runs off of Phillies reliever Luis Garcia. After back-to-back walks to start the inning, Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco singled to center scoring both. After a ground out, the Pirates struck again as center fielder Andrew McCutchen lined a 2-0 pitch over the center field fence driving in Polanco.
That was all the Pirates needed as both teams went scoreless the rest of the way. Sean O’Sullivan falls to 0-2 on the season with the loss, raising his ERA to 5.06.
Final Score: Pirates 7 – Phillies 2
- With the loss, the Phillies (11-23) are on their 3rd losing streak of at least 4 or more games this season.
- Chase Utley went 1-4 tonight with single raising his season batting average to .127, his highest since April 24th when he was batting a meager .135.
- With the win, the Pirates (17-16) are on their 2nd winning streak of at least 4 or more games this season.
The Phillies and Pirates will be back at it Wednesday night in a battle of lefties as Cole Hamels (2-3, 3.68 ERA) faces Francisco Liriano (1-2, 2.79 ERA). First pitch is slated for 7:05 PM