Phillies snap Pirates' 3-game win streak
PHILADELPHIA — The only way to deal with an outing such as Monday's, A.J. Burnett said, is to take the good with the bad.
The good: Despite laboring through three of his five innings and exiting the game earlier than he would have liked, the Pirates' right-hander gave up only two runs. The bad: In addition to pitching just five innings, he allowed one run by uncorking a wild pitch and he hit Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins with the bases loaded to score the other.
Jared Hughes (1-2) gave up the winning run in the sixth, and the Phillies ended the Pirates' three-game winning streak, 3-2, in the series opener at Citizens Bank Park.
“At times I had it, at times I didn't,” Burnett said. “But I left it out there. You hate going five innings. You hate it. You have to give your bullpen more and you have to go further in a game and I will go further in a game. But I made the pitches I needed to to keep us in the game.”
Pedro Alvarez hit his third home run in five games and Russell Martin his second off Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone, who was making his major league debut. But the Phillies received 32⁄3 scoreless innings from four relievers, including Jonathan Papelbon — who is 55 for 55 in career save opportunities in April — and winner Raul Valdes (1-0).
Burnett gave up five hits, struck out seven and walked three, but he labored through the second, third and fourth innings. He threw 101 pitches before exiting after the fifth inning.
Burnett surrendered a single and a walk to start the second inning and escaped without damage, but he wasn't as lucky in the third. He issued a leadoff walk to Pettibone in the pitcher's first major league at-bat, then gave up a single to Rollins. With one out, a wild pitch to scored Pettibone. Burnett struck out the next two batters to end it, but his pitch count was climbing into elevated territory.
Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single to start the fourth, and Domonic Brown walked to put two on for the third inning in a row. Ben Revere singled to load the bases. Burnett struck out Erik Kratz and Pettibone before going to a 2-2 count on Rollins. Burnett was close to wiggling out of trouble again, but he hit Rollins to force in a run to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
He came back out in the fifth and needed just nine pitches to get through that inning, then wanted to go back out for the sixth.
“You know me, man,” Burnett said. “(Manager Clint Hurdle) had to come talk me into that one, and he's right. He made all the right points. But I wanted to go back out there to give guys another inning.”
“The guy threw everything but the kitchen sink at them on a night when his stuff wasn't crisp and he wasn't sharp after the first inning,” Hurdle said. “It was a wrestling match. It's a sign of a pretty good pitcher when he doesn't have his best stuff and doesn't do that well and it's 2-2 in the fifth. You're a bunch of runs behind more often than not.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
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