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Burnett breaks through

He beats Cardinals for his first win as Pirate

Associated Press / April 22, 2012
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A.J. Burnett pitched three-hit ball for seven innings in his injury-delayed Pittsburgh debut and the host Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0, Saturday night.

Burnett, who missed the first three weeks of the season while recovering from a fractured right orbital bone sustained during a bunting drill in spring training, walked two and struck out seven. Joel Hanrahan worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the ninth for his second save of the season.

St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook (2-1) gave up a pair of RBI singles to Pedro Alvarez, walking two and striking out six as his ERA moved from 0.64 to 1.31.

As good as Westbrook was, Burnett was better, throwing 53 of his 76 pitches for strikes and looking like the No. 1 starter the Pirates envisioned when they traded for him in February. After the first three hitters of the game reached, he struck out Carlos Beltran and David Freese and got Yadier Molina to line to short.

Rangers, Tigers split - Justin Verlander pitched six innings without allowing an earned run, and host Detroit salvaged a split of a doubleheader by edging Texas, 3-2, in the nightcap.

Texas routed the Tigers, 10-4, in the first game for its eighth consecutive victory, but Verlander (2-1) then held off the powerful Rangers, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out eight.

In the opener, Hamilton hit a three-run homer during an eight-run first inning against Rick Porcello and Mike Napoli went deep for the fifth straight game.

Dodgers 5, Astros 1 - Matt Kemp set a franchise record for home runs through 15 games with his ninth to back up a solid outing by Clayton Kershaw as Los Angeles won in Houston.

Kemp’s two-run shot to center field in the sixth inning off Kyle Weiland (0-3) gave him a home run in three straight games.

Angels 6, Orioles 3 - Jered Weaver (3-0) pitched his first complete game of the season, Bobby Abreu highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a tiebreaking two-run single, and host Los Angeles beat Baltimore.

Nationals 3, Marlins 2 - Ian Desmond hit a home run and had the winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift Washington over visiting Miami.

Padres 5, Phillies 1 - Cory Luebke allowed two hits in eight innings to outpitch Roy Halladay and San Diego beat Philadelphia, snapping the Phillies’ 13-game winning streak at Petco Park.

Mets 5, Giants 4 - Ruben Tejada scored the winning run on a throwing error by catcher Buster Posey and host New York beat San Francisco after blowing a three-run lead in the top half of the inning.

Rays 4, Twins 1 - James Shields (3-0) carried a three-hitter into the ninth inning, B.J. Upton had a key two-run single, and host Tampa Bay beat Minnesota.

Blue Jays 9, Royals 5 - Colby Rasmus homered twice to help make Drew Hutchison a winner in his major league debut and Toronto handed host Kansas City its ninth straight loss.

Braves 3, Diamondbacks 2 - Tommy Hanson pitched seven strong innings, Dan Uggla homered, and streaking Atlanta beat host Arizona for its 10th win in 11 games.

Indians 5, A’s 1 - Jason Kipnis had four hits and three RBIs to lift visiting Cleveland past Oakland.

Brewers 9, Rockies 4 - Ryan Braun broke out of a slump with a solo homer and two RBIs, Alex Gonzalez drove in four runs, and host Milwaukee beat Colorado.

Cubs 6, Reds 1 - Paul Maholm pitched six solid innings to earn his first win in nine months and host Chicago beat Cincinnati to stop a six-game slide.

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