Burnett outduels Arrieta at Wrigley Field
38-year-old right-hander A.J. Burnett continued his stellar start to the season, tossing seven shutout innings to snap the Chicago Cubs’ six-game winning streak, while extending a streak of his own in a 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates win.
Burnett (3-1) has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his first eight starts this year, a franchise record. He was effectively wild on Sunday, walking five, but striking out seven and lowering his earned run average to 1.38 on the season.
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On the opposite end of things, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta struck out seven and walked only one, scattering five hits that resulted in a lone run for the Bucs’ offense. Arrieta (4-4) lowered his earned run average to 2.77 on the year, bettering his already-impressive line at Wrigley Field.
Francisco Cervelli continued his recent hot streak with an RBI single in the top of the fifth against Arrieta and Pittsburgh added two runs in the eighth against left-hander Zac Rosscup via a pair of run-scoring doubles – one from Neil Walker and the other from Starling Marte.
Chicago went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and no Cubs player tallied more than one base hit in the loss. Addison Russell did, however, hit his a double off Tony Watson late, but he did not score.
Mark Melancon nailed things down in the ninth, squashing a potential Cubs rally, earning his ninth save of the season for Pittsburgh.
Chicago is off on Monday before hitting the road to San Diego on Tuesday. Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.11) will take the ball for the Cubs in the series opener.