A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63 ERA) picked up his 2,000th career strikeout and flirted with a no hitter into the seventh inning, pitching the Pittsburgh Pirates (7-7) to a 5-0 shutout win over the St. Louis Cardinals (8-6) on Wednesday night in front of what felt like a 1,000 fans.
Burnett was superb allowing one hit, no walks and striking out 8 in seven innings pitched.
“My goal every time out is to throw a no-hitter,” Burnett said. “I know they’re major league hitters that I’m facing and I respect them, but my job is not to give up hits.”
Burnett took his no-hit bid into the seventh inning before Carlos Beltran doubled to right-center with two outs in what ended up being the only hit Burnett gave up.
“I’ll take that every time out,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s knocking on the no-hitter door again. We’ve seen it before with his fastball command, hitting the four corners, and a very solid breaking ball.”
“He was carving it up, and he was doing a good job just making his pitches when he needed to make them,” said Andrew McCutchen. “It was a great performance and I was happy that I was a part of it.”
Relievers Mark Melancon, Tony Watson and Jason Grilli combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and ninth inning. Melancon picked up his 5th hold of the season.
Neil Walker (8), Travis Snider (4), Gaby Sanchez (5) and Pedro Alvarez (2) drove in runs for the Pirates.
Starling Marte extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a triple off Shelby Miller.