Burnett strong through seven in Pirates loss

A.J. Burnett has been tough on the San Francisco Giants no

matter what uniform he wears. For seven innings, he was doing it

again.

Ryan Vogelsong, who has not pitched particularly well against

his former team, did Burnett one better Sunday, tossing eight sharp

innings and leading the Giants to a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh

Pirates.

Burnett allowed more than two runs to the Giants for just the

second time in nine career starts, giving up all four on eight hits

over his 7 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out six.

”You’ve got to tip your hat to their pitcher,” Burnett said.

”He came in and shut us down.”

While Vogelsong faced just two over the minimum, Burnett wasn’t

giving into the Giants much. With the exception of a two-out rally

in the third, Burnett was having his way with the Giants until

Pablo Sandoval tripled against him to drive in a pair of insurance

runs.

”I came after him in that situation,” Burnett said. ”It was a

decent pitch. He pulled his hands in and put a good swing on

it.”

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had just visited with Burnett a

batter before and felt good about leaving him in.

”I have a lot of confidence in A.J. where we were right

there,” Hurdle said. ”I figured he would find a way to get out of

it and he didn’t. He got three ground balls in the eighth inning

and one that could have been a double play.”

The Pirates finished a 16-game stretch in which they played 13

on the road with a 6-10 mark. More importantly, they still have a

share of first-place in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals

losing to the Atlanta Braves.

The Pirates return home to host the Milwaukee Brewers for three

games before hosting the Cardinals in a three-game series next

weekend.

Vogelsong (3-4) allowed two hits, struck out five and walked one

in his first win since May 20 against Washington. The right-hander

used his longest outing of the season to lower his ERA to 2.55 in

four starts since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 9.

Burnett (6-9) fell to 2-3 in 10 starts since returning from the

DL.

Sandy Rosario finished the three-hitter for San Francisco’s 11th

shutout. The Pirates have been shut out nine times this season.

Vogelsong, who recorded his first decision since coming off the

disabled list, faced just two over the minimum, retiring eight of

the final nine batters he faced.

”It just seemed whatever we were looking for, something else

came out of his hand,” Hurdle said. ”We just didn’t square him up

a whole lot throughout the game. We just had a couple of

opportunities. We weren’t able to adjust or complicate things for

him.”

Burnett was nearly as good until running into trouble late. He

retired six straight after Posey’s RBI single and then retired six

straight again before Posey’s single in the eighth.

NOTES: LHP Jeff Locke (9-4, 3.01 ERA) gets the start for the

Pirates when they begin a series against Milwaukee on Tuesday

night. He’s 1-2 in seven starts since the All-Star break. …

Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen has hit safely in 11 of his last 12

games against the Giants. … The Pirates are 5-0-2 in series of at

least four games. … The Giants finished 11-23 against the NL

Central, the second-worst record of any NL team against that

division.