Final: Pirates 5, Cubs 0
A.J. Burnett continues his amazing bounce back season. Tonight, he carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Adrian Cardenas‘ pinch-hit single to right field with two outs was all the Cubs could muster off the veteran right-hander.
Burnett finished the game with a complete game shutout, striking out eight and walking two. It was Burnett’s first complete game since 2010 and first shutout since he was a member of the Blue Jays in 2006.
Neil Walker provided the offense for the Pirates with a grand slam in the first inning, his 11th home run of the year. He picked up his fifth RBI of the game in the seventh with a sacrifice fly to score Travis Snider.
Travis Snider went 1 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored in his Pirates debut. It looks like he will be slotted in the two-hole, playing right field. His one hit was an infield hit. He’s fitting in nicely, I guess.
Andrew McCutchen had a nice day at the plate going 3 for 5 with a double. The two-bagger was laced to right field and was probably the hardest ball he’s hit in a good week or so.
Pedro Alvarez also had a good game at the plate going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. The double was his first extra base hit in nine games.
The Pirates are now 59-44, which puts them three games back of the Reds in the NL Central, who are now the owners of the best record in Major League Baseball. This weekend’s series is going to be huge.