Pittsburgh, PA – A.J. Burnett spun six shutout innings to guide the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers in the first of a three-game interleague set at PNC Park.
Burnett (8-2) allowed just two hits and struck out four while walking three to win his seventh straight start.
"Any time you get some early runs like that it makes you go out there and go a little harder," Burnett said. "You go an try to throw more zeroes than the other guy. We jumped on them and we were able to make pitches when we needed to."
Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 and Neil Walker had an RBI single for the Pirates, winners in five of their last six.
Joel Hanrahan tossed a perfect ninth to pick up his 18th save of the season.
Doug Fister (1-4) was pegged with the loss after giving up four runs -- two earned -- on eight hits while striking out seven.
Ramon Santiago had an RBI double and Jhonny Peralta also doubled for the Tigers, who lost for the second time in six games.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the first. Alex Presley doubled to open the inning and scored on Walker's RBI single. Walker took second on a wild pitch, moved to third when McCutchen singled and came home on Garret Jones' groundout.
Pittsburgh added two more in the second. Back-to-back singles from Pedro Alvarez and Rod Barajas put runners on first and second. Burnett then pushed a bunt down the third-base line and Fister fired the ball over third baseman Miguel Cabrera's head and into the outfield, allowing Alvarez and Barajas to score.
"We probably turned what would have been a third-to-first double-play into two runs, which is obviously a no-no for us, and we couldn't overcome it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We didn't swing the bats very well and Burnett was pretty good and their bullpen was good."
Burnett escaped a jam in the sixth unscathed. With runners on first and second and no outs, Burnett was able to get Miguel Cabrera to ground a 3-2 pitch into a double-play and Prince Fielder popped up to third to end the inning.
"I think (Burnett) was able to slow things down, rely on his experience, rely on his catcher and find a way to make pitches," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Detroit got on the board in the seventh to make it 4-1. Peralta laced a two- out double to right before Santiago followed with a double of his own off the top of the wall in center. The Tigers put runners on the corners with two outs, but Tony Watson was able to get Austin Jackson to strike out to end the threat.
Jason Grilli retired the side in order in the eighth before Hanrahan closed it out in the ninth.
Burnett is a perfect 5-0 in seven starts at home this season...Pirates first baseman Casey McGehee had a nine-game hitting streak snapped...McCutchen extended his hitting streak to six games...The Tigers have scored a run in 138 consecutive games...Despite the loss Detroit holds a 17-14 advantage all-time against the Pirates.