CINCINNATI — A.J. Burnett remained undefeated against the Cincinnati Reds this season and Starling Marte hit a tiebreaking two-run triple to help the Pittsburgh Pirates salvage the finale of their three-game series with a 6-2 win on Sunday.
Neil Walker hit a two-run home run and All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen added a solo shot as Pittsburgh snapped Cincinnati’s win streak at five and cut the Reds lead in the National League Central Division to 4 1-2 games.
Burnett (14-3) allowed just one hit after the first inning and retired 18 straight batters before yielding two walks with two outs in the ninth. He allowed three hits and two runs with three walks and seven strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings to improve to 3-0 in three starts against the Reds this season.
Joel Hanrahan got the final out for his 32nd save.
The Reds went into the game with 22 wins in their last 25 games and 15 of their last 16. They are still 16-4 since All-Star first baseman Joey Votto left the lineup with a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery.
Jay Bruce doubled in the first, but Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead in the second on Walker’s 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot that tied Walker’s season high.
Homer Bailey (9-7) allowed nine hits and four runs with one walk and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings on Sunday.
McCutchen led off the ninth against Logan Ondrusek by tying his single-season career high with his 23rd homer of the season and first since July 17.
Reds 2B Brandon Phillips missed his fifth straight start with a strained left calf. … The Pirates finished 6-4 on their longest road trip of the season. They open their longest homestand Monday with a four games against Arizona, the first of 11 in 11 days in Pittsburgh. … The Reds open a seven-game road trip in Milwaukee on Monday. They’ve won nine consecutive road games, the longest active streak in the National League and the team’s longest since a 10-game run from July 27 through Aug. 13, 2005.
Burnett baffles Reds as Pirates avoid sweep
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