Everybody can exhale now. Dormant at the plate for the better part of a week, the Pirates splurged for 11 hits Thursday in a 7-2 rout of the Cincinnati Reds that snapped a five-game losing skid. Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 4 plus a walk, which boosted his batting average 22 points to .210. Neil Walker reached base four times and scored twice. Pedro Alvarez delivered a key RBI double. “It's good,” McCutchen said. “It's what we're capable of doing on a daily basis. We have the team to do it. We're not right where we need to be yet, either, which is the great thing. When we get hot, we're going to really get hot.” With a patient approach at the plate, the Pirates tied their season high by drawing seven walks. “It was fun to watch tonight,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It was fun for everybody.” Right-hander A.J. Burnett finally got his first win of the season. Along the way, he made a little bit of history, too. Anthony DeSclafani's strikeout on a fouled bunt attempt in the third inning was Burnett's 2,400th career whiff. “It meant a lot more that it came in a Pirates victory,” Burnett said. Skip Schumaker went down waving at a curveball in the dirt in the seventh. That was strikeout No. 2,401, which tied Burnett with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for 40th place on baseball's all-time list. Going into the game, Burnett was 0-1 with a National League-leading 1.45 ERA. According to STATS, he's the first pitcher to go winless in his first five starts with an ERA that low since Ryan Dempster in 2012. It took Dempster 10 starts to notch his first victory that season. Over Burnett's first five outings, the Pirates scored a total of five runs while he was on the mound. His 1.45 run support average was the lowest in the NL.
Pirates' bats break out, snap 5-game skid
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | May 8