Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 8/5/13
The Pirates took the series from the Rockies with a second straight strong all-around performance on Sunday, and they were once again led by a great starting pitching effort. This time it was A.J. Burnett, who delivered the Bucs’ second complete game of the season. Burnett has been very strong all year – especially lately – but hasn’t gotten a lot of help from the rest of the team. The offense has been notorious for failing to score in his starts (explaining his lack of wins despite the sub-3 ERA) and recently the defense has let him down early in a few post-All-Star-break outings. On Sunday, A.J. got enough help but he certainly didn’t need much of it. He was incredibly efficient, struck out nine, and walked just one. He was rarely in trouble and didn’t have problems getting out of a few mini-jams. Just a brilliant game – certainly the exclamation point on his season so far. The offense got it done for Burnett, ensuring he’d come away with his fifth win. Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen teamed up to get a quick run home, then a long threat in the third generated a sac fly, and Russell Martin delivered the big blow with a three-run blast in the fifth. The Pirates don’t get many three-run bombs, but when they do, they are usually enough to change a game, and this one did just that. The outcome was never in doubt following Martin’s shot. The Bucs have their momentum back now – they won the series, played two consecutive strong games in every facet, and maintained their ground in first place. Plus, they’ve got a day off and another home series coming up – and thanks to Burnett, the bullpen gets two days off. Good stuff. Pirates 5, Rockies 1 / Box / 2013 Record: 67-44 / Next: Tuesday, vs. Marlins, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
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