Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - A.J. Burnett struck out seven in seven scoreless innings to help the Pittsburgh Pirates earn a 3-0 win over the Chicago Cubs and avoid a three-game series sweep.
Burnett (3-1) did issue five walks, but he became the first Pirate since 1900 to allow two or fewer runs in his first eight starts.
"I'm just trying to keep the ball down," said Burnett. "I'm trying to keep to my strengths no matter what the guys at the plate are trying to do."
Francisco Cervelli drove in the decisive run in the fifth, and Neil Walker and Starling Marte drove in insurance runs late.
Jake Arrieta (4-4) took the loss despite virtually matching Burnett pitch-for- pitch. He allowed just one run in seven innings with seven strikeouts.
"We played well again today," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. "They pitched well. They beat us on the mound."
Each pitcher was able to get out of a jam early in the game, and it remained tied until the fifth inning. After Josh Harrison doubled, Cervelli shot a single to the opposite field to put Pittsburgh up 1-0.
In the eighth, the Pirates' offense went to work on Chicago's bullpen after Arrieta's exit. Cervelli again singled to lead off the inning, and he advanced on Sean Rodriguez's sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Walker's double scored Cervelli, and he came home to score on Marte's double.
Addison Russell led off the eighth with a double, and Anthony Rizzo's walk with two outs brought the tying run to the plate. Starlin Castro, though, could not come through and lined out to Andrew McCutchen.
An inning later, the Cubs again brought the tying run to the plate, this time against closer Mark Melancon. With two runners on, Melancon got pinch-hitter Welington Castillo to fly out, and Russell's groundout to third ended the game.
Star Cubs rookie Kris Bryant left the game early with an illness ... Cervelli was the only player to have more than one hit ... Pittsburgh's Gregory Polanco was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts ... Each team resumes play on Tuesday with the Cubs heading to San Diego for three games and Pittsburgh hosting Minnesota for a pair of games.