Sports

Burnett, Pirates offense roll in win over Mets

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - A.J. Burnett continued his dazzling season on the mound.

The 38-year-old right-hander even swung the bat a little, not that he needed the help.

Burnett had 10 strikeouts and no walks over seven strong innings and the Pirates knocked around Mets ace Matt Harvey on the way to an 8-2 victory Saturday afternoon.

Burnett (4-1) allowed just five hits and one run. Signed again by Pittsburgh in November after spending last year with Philadelphia, he hasn't given up more than two runs in any of his nine starts this season and has won each of his last four outings.

Saturday's gem dropped his ERA another hundredth of a point to 1.37 this season and marked just his sixth career win in 25 starts against the Mets -- his most common NL opponent.

"He's pitching as well as I've ever seen him pitch," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.

And the Pirates are finally scoring runs for Burnett after crossing the plate just seven total times in his first five starts.

Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Pedro Alvarez added a solo shot for the Pirates, who will go for a three-game sweep on Sunday. Alvarez and Josh Harrison each had two hits and two RBI.

Burnett chipped in with a single and knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly.

The Pirates battered Harvey (5-2) for seven runs in four innings -- the shortest outing of his career. The right-hander fell to 0-2 in his last four starts after winning his first five coming off Tommy John surgery.

Harvey pitched well in his last three starts, giving up just three total runs, but received little support from the Mets offense, which scored a combined four runs in the games.

He had a 16-inning shutout streak snapped when McCutchen homered into the Pirates bullpen behind left-center field with one out in the first. Alvarez homered on Harvey's first pitch of the second inning, sending a 96-mph fastball deep into the right-field seats.

"We just had the at-bats we needed to have to beat an ace," said Hurdle.

The Mets had one hit in the first three innings before Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda stroked consecutive singles off Burnett in the fourth. Lagares later scored on a groundout, but the Pirates came back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-1 lead.

Alvarez hit an RBI double, Burnett helped himself with a sac fly and the last two runs scored on Harrison's double.

McCutchen was lifted for a pinch-runner after hitting a double in the seventh and the runner, Sean Rodriguez, scored on an error to make it 8-1.

The Mets, who have dropped nine of their last 13, scored their second run when Ruben Tejada led off the eighth with a homer off Antonio Bastardo.

Game Notes

Gerrit Cole also had 10 strikeouts for Pittsburgh in Friday's 4-1 win to open the series. It was the first time two Pirates pitchers each had 10 strikeouts in back-to-back games since John Candelaria and Larry McWilliams on May 23 and 24, 1984 ... McCutchen hit his sixth home run of the season and Alvarez got his eighth.