A.J. Burnett Gives Up Hit In 8th, Finishes With 1-Hitter Against Cubs

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas lined a single. It was the Cubs' first hit of the evening against A.J. Burnett, who was vying for history.

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A.J. Burnett Throws 1-Hitter At Cubs

A.J. Burnett did not pitch a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs, Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. Burnett's no-hit bid ended in the eighth inning when, after a pitch that could have been called strike three but wasn't, rookie pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas drove a fastball into right field for a clean single.

Burnett did pitch a one-hit shutout, the first one-hitter of his career and his first shutout since 2006. Burnett's victory pushed his Pirates' record to 59-44, tied with the Atlanta Braves for the third-best record in the National League.

Last year, Burnett pitched for the Yankees and finished with a 5.15 ERA; after the season, they were so sick of watching him pitch, they essentially gave the Pirates $13 million to take Burnett off their hands. This year, Burnett's 13-3 with a 3.27 earned-run average.

Last year, the Pirates lost 90 games and finished in fourth place. This year, the Pirates are almost a lock for their first winning season since 1992, and they're also a pretty good bet to earn a postseason berth for the first time since forever ago.

Yes, there is a connection between those last two paragraphs.

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Burnett's No-Hit Bid Intact After 7 Innings

Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett has pitched seven hitless innings against the Cubs, and the Pirates took a 5-0 lead into the eighth inning at Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Burnett has walked X Cubs: Anthony Rizzo in the fourth inning and David DeJesus in the sixth, both with two outs. In the seventh, Burnett retired the Cubs in order: Rizzo grounded to shortstop; Alfonso Soriano drove a fly ball to deep left-center field, where Andrew McCutchen tracked it down and avoided a collision with rookie Starling Marte; and Bryan LaHair grounded out to first base.

The Pirates grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first inning when Neil Walker hit a grand slam off Casey Coleman, just recalled from the minors to fill Ryan Dempster's rotation slot. They added another in the top of the seventh when Walker's sacrifice fly to shallow center field was enough to plate Travis Snider from third base.

Burnett's thrown only 80 pitches through seven innings.

This wouldn't be Burnett's first no-hitter: in 2001, he no-hit the San Diego Padres despite issuing nine walks.

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