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Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

Burnett tosses one-hit gem


CHICAGO — One thought kept crossing A.J. Burnett's mind as he made his dramatic push for a no-hitter.

News photo
Stellar outing: Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett fires a pitch against Chicago in the eighth inning on Tuesday night. The Pirates won 5-0 AP

He wanted it — badly.

Instead, he will have to settle for a close call and maybe the best performance of his career.

Burnett pitched a one-hitter, Neil Walker drove in five runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Chicago 5-0 on Tuesday night, hours after the Cubs traded ace Ryan Dempster.

Burnett started thinking about a no-hitter in the third or fourth inning.

"I'm not going to lie," he said. "So, it's one of those things that you want to do, you want to take pride in, but at the same time a lot of luck's got to go into it. I had a lot of great plays behind me. . . . Bottom line is it's a 'W' for us."

Burnett just about stole the spotlight after the Cubs traded their best pitcher to Texas just before the non-waiver deadline. His bid for a second career no-hitter and the sixth in the majors this season ended with two outs in the eighth.

He had already hit Darwin Barney in the helmet with one out before striking out Luis Valbuena, but his no-hit bid ended at the hands of a rookie when pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas lined a 3-2 pitch to right for a single after two close pitches were called balls.

Burnett said he was angry about a 2-2 curve that just missed outside, and he appeared to be yelling at the umpire after the hit.

But he struck out David DeJesus with runners on first and third to end the inning. That's probably not much consolation for the veteran, who pitched a wild no-hitter for the Marlins against San Diego on May 12, 2001.

Phillies 8, Nationals 0

In Washington, Cliff Lee threw seven innings and scored on Jimmy Rollins' inside-the-park home run to lead Philadelphia to a victory over the Nationals .

Reds 7, Padres 6

In Cincinnati, Ryan Ludwick drove in four runs with a homer and a single and Brandon Phillips hit a tiebreaking solo shot in the seventh inning that got the Reds back to winning.

Brewers 10, Astros 1

In Milwaukee, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart hit three-run homers for the Brewers.

Milwaukee outfielder Norichika Aoki was 1-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.

Cardinals 11, Rockies 6

In Denver, Matt Holliday homered, doubled and drove in four runs, and Kyle Lohse worked through an erratic outing to win his fifth consecutive decision for St. Louis.

Diamondbacks 8, Dodgers 2

In Los Angeles, Paul Goldschmidt homered in the first inning for the second straight game, Miguel Montero added a three-run shot and rookie Wade Miley pitched eight dominant innings for Arizona.

Giants 4, Mets 1

In San Francisco, Tim Lincecum struck out seven in seven innings and the Giants took advantage of a two-run error by New York shortstop Ruben Tejada to snap a season-high five-game losing streak.

Braves 7, Marlins 1

In Atlanta, Brian McCann homered and the Braves extended their winning streak to seven.


Orioles 11, Yankees 5

In New York, Chris Davis hit a go-ahead grand slam in a seven-run second inning and Baltimore rallied from five runs down to beat the Yankees.

Ichiro Suzuki finished 1-for-4 with an RBI for New York.

Angels 6, Rangers 2

In Arlington, Texas, Albert Pujols hit two home runs and Jered Weaver won his eighth straight start, leading the Angels over the Rangers.

Red Sox 4, Tigers 1 (5)

In Boston, Clayton Mortensen pitched 2⅔ shutout innings after Josh Beckett left with back spasms and the Red Sox beat the Tigers in a game halted by rain in the top of the sixth.

Royals 8, Indians 3

In Kansas City, Alcides Escobar drove in three runs, Luke Hochevar pitched six solid innings and the Royals beat Cleveland to snap a five-game skid.

White Sox 4, Twins 3

In Minneapolis, A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run home run in the ninth and the White Sox held on.

Rays 8, Athletics 0

In Oakland, James Shields pitched a three-hitter, B.J. Upton drove in two runs and Tampa Bay broke out of its prolonged offensive slump to beat the Athletics.

Mariners 7, Blue Jays 2

In Seattle, Dustin Ackley drove in three runs and Jason Vargas pitched seven strong innings to lead the Mariners to their sixth consecutive victory.

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