• A.J. Burnett was excellent in his last start against the Cardinals, allowing one run over seven innings Saturday. The performance put to rest some concerns that the 36-year-old is wearing down in the second half of the season. Burnett produced a 3.79 ERA in August, the second-highest monthly ERA of his season. Burnett also posted a 5.18 ERA in August 2012. The Pirates hope the start was the sign of a strong finish by Burnett.
• Cardinals undersized flamethrower Joe Kelly shut down the Pirates last Sunday. Kelly doesn't have great off-speed pitches — he averages just six strikeouts per nine innings — but Kelly averages 95 mph with his fastball.
• The Cardinals will miss Francisco Liriano this weekend, who is 3-0 with two earned runs in 24 innings against St. Louis.
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