Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 6/23/12

The Pirates grabbed hold of an early lead on Friday night and hung on to it the rest of the way, defeating the Tigers 4-1 in front of a sellout crowd at PNC Park.

A.J. Burnett won his seventh start in a row–the longest such streak by a Pirate since Dock Ellis. Burnett went six scoreless and allowed just two hits (although he walked three) while striking out four. After A.J. worked around a walk and a stolen base in the first inning, he totally cruised until the sixth. That’s when the top of the Detroit order put two on with no outs and Miguel Cabrera at the plate (and Prince Fielder on deck). Burnett pitched out of it beautifully, getting Cabrera to hit a perfect DP ball and then popping up Fielder to finish his work for the night. Yet another fantastic outing for A.J.

The Bucs got Burnett an early lead with two in the first inning and two more in the second. Alex Presley started things off right away against Doug Fister with a leadoff double, then Neil Walker quickly singled him home. Walker then scored on a Garrett Jones double play ball after Andrew McCutchen moved him over with a single.

In the second, Pedro Alvarez and Rod Barajas singled and Clint Barmes struck out, setting up a bunt situation for Burnett. A.J. bunted the ball into the field of play instead of into his eye socket, but it still wasn’t a very good bunt. Fister had time to throw out Pedro at third, but chucked it wide and well into foul territory. Alvarez scored and Barajas chugged into third….then shockingly took off for home when Delmon Young had trouble picking up the ball. Young had so much trouble that there wasn’t even a play at the plate, but Barajas dove in headfirst unnecessarily to make it 4-0. Poor defense has held the Tigers back all season, and it was certainly evident on that ugly play.

The four early runs would be enough for Burnett, which was good because the offense mostly shut down for the rest of the game. McCutchen had three hits, but that was about it in terms of notable offensive performances. The bullpen shut things down without a problem, though. Jared Hughes allowed a run in the seventh on a few hits, but Tony Watson cleaned up his mess without allowing any more. Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan cruised through the 8th and 9th to complete the win.

Great start to the series in front of an excellent crowd at PNC on a beautiful Friday night. This was an important game for the Bucs, because the next two shape up to be extremely tough. Still, enjoy this one for now…oh, and the Reds lost so the Pirates are back within one game of first place.

Pirates 4, Tigers 1 / Box / 2012 Record: 37-32 / Next: Saturday, vs. Tigers, 4:05

MVP: Burnett (+.313) / LVP: Jones/Barmes (-.052) / Key play: The errors on AJ’s bunt

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

Texas signee glad he didn’t pick Texas A&M after alleged racism

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker