The Times West Virginian

Sports

September 22, 2013

Martin, Burnett lead Pirates past Reds, 4-2

PITTSBURGH — A.J. Burnett scattered four hits over seven strong innings to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Saturday night.

Burnett (9-11) struck out a season-high 12 as the Pirates moved a game in front of Cincinnati for the top spot in the NL wild-card race. Jason Grilli worked the ninth for his 31st save, his first since going to the disabled list with a strained right forearm in July.

Russell Martin hit a two-run homer and Jose Tabata added two hits as the Pirates bounced back from a late collapse in a loss on Friday night.

Zach Cozart hit his 12th home run of the season for Cincinnati and Ryan Ludwick added an RBI but Homer Bailey (11-11) ended a winning streak at six straight decisions.

The Reds rallied for a 6-5 win in 10 innings on Friday, turning three unearned runs in the ninth and Joey Votto’s solo homer in the 10th into a tie with the Pirates for the top spot in the NL wild-card race.

It was the second gut-punch loss by the Pirates in three days. In danger of falling behind the Reds in the standings for the first time in since June 20, Pittsburgh reduced its magic number to three behind Burnett.

Ludwick’s RBI single in the first and Cozart’s deep home run to left leading off the second gave the Reds an early 2-0 lead before Burnett settled in. Mixing his fastball with a curveball nearly unhittable, Burnett retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced and became the first right-hander in Pittsburgh’s 126-year history to reach the 200-strikeout plateau when he fanned Joey Votto to start the sixth.

Bailey wasn’t quite as sharp. Making his first at PNC Park since throwing a no-hitter at the Pirates last September, Bailey was solid but not spectacular. An off night by Cincinnati’s typically reliable defense didn’t help.

Alvarez reached with two outs in the third when Votto mishandled a slow chopper to first. Martin followed by taking a fastball from Bailey and sending it into the bleachers in left field to tie the game at 2.

Pittsburgh broke the tie in the sixth. Andrew McCutchen walked with one out and sprinted to third when Bailey’s attempted pickoff throw slipped past Votto and rolled to the wall. Justin Morneau walked to put runners on the corners and Byrd hit a sacrifice to deep center field to give the Pirates the lead. Bailey gave up four runs, two earned, on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Reliever Zach Duke — who spent six years in Pittsburgh during the club’s miserable two-decade losing streak — came on after Byrd’s sacrifice fly and immediately surrendered an RBI single to Alvarez that gave the Pirates a two-run cushion.

Burnett responded by breezing through the seventh in perhaps his final regular season start at PNC Park as a member of the Pirates. His deal is up at the end of the season, and while he’s embraced his role as the pitching staff’s wise old man, he may be too expensive to retain after going 25-21 with a 3.45 ERA over two years.

Those matters can wait. Burnett let loose an emphatic fist pump when pinch-hitter Henry Rodriguez struck out to end the seventh. He walked off to a loud ovation after steadying a franchise still trying to figure out how to win this time of year.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dungy0725 (1).jpg Rice, Dungy sideshows stain NFL

    The National Football League guards its reputation as aggressively as lineman are paid to protect a quarterback.
    So, as training camp opens around the country, how odd is it to see Commissioner Roger Goodell’s 32-team NFL empire battling bad headlines and stinging criticism from all quarters?
    Anyone want to talk to the new quarterback for his early assessment of playing with the best and biggest players in the land? That would be business as usual. Nothing has been routine about the early days of camp this season.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.
    Sure, you may get some Andrew McCutchens or some Derek Jeters as replies. But if you want to find out the real answer, just look into the dugout.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Return to Mountain State exciting for new sports writer

    When I packed my belongings out of my Morgantown apartment in May, fresh with a journalism degree from West Virginia University, I thought I had ended a chapter of my life and closed the book on my experience inside the great Mountain State forever.
    It wasn’t until I received a phone call back in my hometown of Canton, Ohio, from the Times West Virginian that the idea of a return to the area became a possibility. The opportunity to begin my professional career in an area that I’ve become comfortable with for the past several years was too good to pass by.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Photos
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings