UnitedHealthcare Health insurance that includes all Western PA hospitals
Wednesday December 7 2016
Leave this field empty.

Burnett and McCutchen lead Pirates over Royals

PSR Logo
A.J. Burnett pitched seven solid innings, and Andrew McCutchen knocked in three RBIs to lead the Pirates over the Royals and sweep the three game series Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are slowly closing in on claiming first place in the N.L. Central. With another victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon, the Pirates swept the Royals and closed in on the Cincinnati Reds for the division lead. A.J. Burnett pitched another magnificent game and shut down the Royals through seven innings, enough to give the Pirates a 3-2 victory.

“It was a very, very solid performance all across the board for A.J. today,” said manager Clint Hurdle of his starter. “He’s got a lot of confidence on the mound and a lot of experience to draw from. I think he’s in a good place as far as his comfort zone.”

Burnett threw seven and one-third innings and even carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, notching six strikeouts and only walking two batters. Burnett’s run support all came off of one person’s bat: Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen knocked in all three runs on the afternoon, including blasting a two run homer in the third inning to put the Pirates ahead for good.

The Bucs got on the board early in the bottom half of the first. Alex Presley led off the game with a single into right field and moved to second on a groundout by Neil Walker. McCutchen ripped a double into right center to bring in Presley and putting the Pirates up 1-0.

McCutchen added two more runs for the Pirates in the bottom of the third with a two run homer to left field. McCutchen hit a 1-2 pitch by Bruce Chen over the fence and into the bleachers to bring in Walker and put the Pirates up 3-0.

The Royals finally got on the board in the top of the seventh inning. Bryan Pena doubled to right field, and Alicedes Escobar followed that up with a double of his own into the left field corner to bring home Pena, cutting the score to 3-1.

The Royals closed the gap to just one run in the top of the eighth. With Alex Gordon on third and Johnny Giavotella on first, Eric Hosmer hit a ground ball to short to score Gordon on a fielder’s choice to second base.

With the score at 3-2 going into the ninth, the Pirates turned to another reliever other than Joel Hanrahan to close out the game. Jason Grilli came in and despite allowing the tying and go-ahead runs on base, he got the job done. Grilli struck out the final two batters to end the ballgame and put the Buccos five games over the .500 mark.

“It was big for us all around today,” said Grilli. “I just stayed aggressive and made pitches.”

With a sweep of the Royals, the Pirates are 12-3 in their last 15 games, a mark good enough for best in the league during that time-span.

“This weekend was outstanding,” said A.J. Burnett. “These are the things that happen when you win.”

On Deck:

The Pirates head to Baltimore to face the Orioles for another inter-league matchup. Their next game is on Tuesday with Brad Lincoln (3-1, 2.40 ERA) getting the start against Wei-Yin Chen (5-2, 3.49 ERA) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Share
Bob Prince was best known as the voice of the PIttsburgh Pirates for 28 years, but it was not the only job he had over his Hall of Fame career. “The Gunner” also called Steelers and Penguins games at different times during his career and was part of the NBC broadcast team for the 1965 All-Star Game.
Feature OneNorth Shore Notes
When the Penguins hired Jim Rutherford as their general manager in 2014, it seemed like a temporary move. The former Carolina Hurricanes GM would spend his two years in Pittsburgh, and then hand the keys to Jason Botterill; the man whom several people thought deserved the job in the first place.
Blue LineFeature Two
Aaron Gray is a familiar name for most Pittsburgh basketball fans. The 7’0”, 270-pound center led the '07 Panthers to an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance and was one of the most prolific big men to play for coach Jamie Dixon.
Feature ThreePitt BasketballSports Bites
Jeanne Marie Laskas is the New York Times best-selling author of Concussion and the 2009 GQ article “Game Brain,” which inspired the Golden Globe-nominated movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith and Alec Baldwin.
Feature FourPure SteelSports Bites
PSR VIDEO
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3Steelers TV Channel
The college basketball season is underway as local teams finish their non-conference games this month. Will Kevin Stallings re-ignite the Pitt program? Can Jim Ferry recover from losing three seniors at Duquesne? Will Penn State's freshmen class finally produce competitive basketball in State College?
Custom 1DuquesnePenn StatePitt BasketballRobert MorrisWVU
Exactly four months after the Pittsburgh Penguins raised the Stanley Cup in San Jose, the new NHL season got underway. While the Penguins will look to become the first team in nearly 20 years to repeat as champions, the season will be sure to deliver plenty of twists and surprises during the regular season.
Blue LineCustom 2
As much as 80 percent of the Pirates starting rotation could be different next season. Only Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are locks to return from the 2015 crew. With three spots potentially open, the Pirates could look to add veterans through waivers, free agency and trades. Here are some potential in-house solutions.
Custom 3North Shore Notes
For years, the accomplishments of the Penn State men’s basketball team have been few and far between. Head coach Patrick Chambers has posted a 23-67 overall conference record in his five seasons, one of the worst marks among Power 5 schools. Only TCU, Boston College, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech have a lower in-conference winning percentage than Penn State's .256 mark during that span.
Custom 4Penn State