Despite the impressive performance on the mound from Burnett, Pittsburgh’s offense fell short and the Reds swept the series, handing the Pirates their last three losses of a six-game losing streak.
“We’re a pitch, a play, a hit away from getting hot,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
But Pittsburgh’s bats remained cold.
In six innings, Burnett allowed five hits and two runs, with two walks and eight strikeouts. But the offense couldn’t finish the job. Burnett has yet to earn a win in his last five starts, finding no help from the Pirates’ dugout.
The Reds struck first with a run in the third inning as Ryan Hanigan advanced to home as Brock Holt snagged a ground ball from Cincinnati’s Wilson Valdez and tossed it to Gaby Sanchez at first to secure the out.
With back-to-back singles from Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones to start the fourth, Gaby Sanchez followed suit, sending McCutchen home on an RBI single to right field, tying the game at 1-1.
The Pirates’ defense stayed strong through the fourth and fifth innings thanks to some fine fielding from Clint Barmes and Brock Holt, but the Reds plated one in the sixth off a sac fly from Scott Rolen and finished the game unanswered, taking the 2-1 win and sweeping the series.
The Pirates head to Wrigley Field on Friday, September 14 for a four game series with the Chicago Cubs. The starting pitchers for game one are to be determined. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:20 p.m.