PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 21: A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in his first game for the Pirates against the St Louis Cardinals during the game on April 21, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Cardinals Vs. Pirates: A.J. Burnett's Brilliant Start The Only Highlight Of Three-Game Set

The Pirates grabbed a win in A.J. Burnett's brilliant Bucs debut Saturday, but lost on Friday and Sunday.

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9 Total Updates since April 20, 2012
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Cardinals Vs. Pirates Final Score: Kyle Lohse Latest Pitcher To Dominate Bucs

In a performance that has been typical of the Pirates’ season so far, starting pitcher Erik Bedard gave the Bucs’ offense a reasonable performance in a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals Sunday, but the hitters couldn’t come close to producing their fair share.

The Bucs managed just six hits and one run, which came on a Michael McKenry double and a Casey McGehee single in the bottom of the eighth. Starter Kyle Lohse struck out five over seven innings.

Bedard allowed only three runs over seven innings (while striking out seven and walking four), but he gave up all three runs in the first three frames, which made the game feel hopeless pretty much from the outset, given how bad the Pirates’ offense has been. Evan Meek allowed two more runs in a tough ninth inning.

Rafael Furcal had three hits and scored two runs for the Cardinals. Shane Robinson went 2-for-3 with a walk.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates: Pittsburgh Takes Field Sunday Looking For Series Win

The Pittsburgh Pirates (6-8), coming off a 2-0 win on Saturday behind a solid A.J. Burnett pitching performance, take the field on Sunday looking for a series win over the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals (10-5).

Burnett threw seven strong innings on Saturday, and Pedro Alvarez, just two for 30 to begin the season, drove in both runs for the Pirates.

Erik Bedard will take the hill for Pittsburgh on Sunday. Bedard is 0-3 on the season, despite an excellent 2.65 ERA. In his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bedard allowed two earned runs in five innings of work, throwing 97 pitches in those five frames.

St. Louis will counter with Kyle Lohse, 2-1 with a 3.90 ERA in five starts against the Pirates last season. The top of Pittsburgh's lineup - Alex Presley, Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker - are 25 for 59 combined against Lohse in their careers.

For more updates from the Pittsburgh Pirates' weekend series with the St. Louis Cardinals, stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all the latest news and analysis on the Pirates, make sure to visit Bucs Dugout. For more on the St. Louis Cardinals, head over to Viva El Birdos. Still not enough baseball for you? The SB Nation baseball hub page, Baseball Nation, has all the latest from around the MLB.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: A.J. Burnett Strikes Out Seven To Lead Pittsburgh To A 2-0 Win

Heading into Saturday’s game, the hope was that the Pittsburgh Pirates would finally be able to generate some more runs. After all, they had a combined eight in their last four games, so figuring some sort of improvement made sense. Granted, that didn’t exactly change against the St. Louis Cardinals, but thanks to some solid pitching, the Bucs still topped the visiting Redbirds, 2-0 at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh collected seven hits, but most importantly held St. Louis to five. A.J. Burnett got the start and was masterful, lasting seven innings, striking out seven and surrendering a mere two walks and three hits. Joel Hanrahan would later come on and notch the save.

Meanwhile, the Pirates’ bats did most of their work in the fourth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Andrew McCutchen scored on a single from third baseman Pedro Alvarez., and in the sixth, Alvarez again singled, scoring McCutchen.

The rubber-match is tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. EST.

For more news and analysis related to the Pittsburgh Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. Stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for more updates.

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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Jared Hughes Sent To AAA To Make Room For A.J. Burnett

Kristy Robinson reports that the Pirates have sent reliever Jared Hughes to Class AAA Indianapolis to make room on the active roster for A.J. Burnett, who will start Saturday night against Cardinals.

What’s triggering all this, of course, is that Kevin Correia isn’t making his scheduled start due to some sort of injury to his side, so the natural move would have been to place Correia on the disabled list. That the Pirates did not do so probably indicates that they don’t think his condition is particularly serious.

Hughes pitched three innings in the Pirates’ loss to the Cardinals Friday night. At the time, it was unclear why the Bucs sent him out for a third inning, and in fact he gave up two runs in that last frame. I’m not sure this explains it, but it’s hard not to wonder if the two decisions are related.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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A.J. Burnett To Make Pirates Debut After Kevin Correia Injury

Kevin Correia had been scheduled to start against Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals Saturday night, but now it looks like the Pirates will turn to new acquisition A.J. Burnett, who will make his Pirates debut.

Correia now can’t make the start due to “discomfort” in his left side. I’m not sure what that means, and I’m guessing the Pirates don’t yet either. Burnett, who had missed his first couple starts after taking a ball off his face in a bunting drill in Spring Training, had been scheduled to make a rehab start for Class AA Altoona Saturday night. The Bucs will have to make a roster move to find space for him; that might mean sending Correia to the disabled list.

Burnett has made three rehab starts this season and hasn’t pitched particularly well, allowing 11 earned runs and two home runs in 10.1 innings while striking out nine and walking six. If the Pirates are to do well this year, Burnett will probably be a big part of that, but there isn’t much evidence to suggest that he’s ready right now, and the Pirates wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t have to. We’ll see what happens.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates: Can The Bucs' Offense Finally Get Going?

After dropping the first game of the series 4-1 on Friday, Kevin Correia and the Pirates take on Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals at 7:05 Saturday night.

It might seem germane to point out that Westbrook has only allowed one run in his three starts so far this year (though he has struck out only four and walked five), or that Correia has been a disaster at PNC Park since signing with the Pirates. (Okay, I lied — that last point doesn’t even seem germane.)

But the fact is that in any given game so far this season, it’s almost as if the Pirates’ offense is playing against itself. Can the Pirates’ hitters get more than five or six hits? If so, they’ll probably do fine. If not … The Pirates have had six hits or fewer seven times already this season. They’re 1-6 in those games, and 4-2 in the others. The Pirates need to get much more offense, particularly from players who aren’t Andrew McCutchen, if they’re going to succeed this year.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates Score: Bucs' Offense Flops Against Lance Lynn

Alex Presley’s inside-the-park homer was the only bit of offense the Pirates were able to muster in a 4-1 loss to the Cardinals Friday night.

Charlie Morton pitched five innings and gave up two runs, one earned, while striking out six, but that wasn’t enough against Lance Lynn, who held the Pirates to four hits over seven innings. Morton also his team’s defense to contend with — the Pirates were charged with four errors (and Morton himself had one of those).

St. Louis’ first run came in the second, when Yadier Molina doubled down the line and Carlos Beltran scampered home when Clint Barmes tried to throw to the plate and lost his grip on the ball. The Bucs added a run on Beltran’s RBI single in the fifth.

The Cardinals scored two more in the ninth as reliever Jared Hughes tried to get through a third inning of work. Daniel Descalso hit a solo homer, and Rafael Furcal had an RBI double.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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VIDEO: Alex Presley Hits Lead Off Inside-The-Park Home Run

Pittsburgh Pirates fans saw some very early fireworks when center fielder Alex Presley hit a leadoff inside-the-park home run.

A video of the rare feat can be found HERE.

It was the first leadoff inside-the-park home run in the MLB since another Pirate speedster, Omar Moreno, accomplished the feat in 1980.

St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Skip Schumaker was shaken up on the play and came out of the game. He was replaced by Erik Komatsu. There has been no update as to what the injury to Schumaker was.

For more updates from the Pittsburgh Pirates' weekend series with the St. Louis Cardinals, stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all the latest news and analysis on the Pirates, make sure to visit Bucs Dugout. For more on the St. Louis Cardinals, head over to Viva El Birdos. Still not enough baseball for you? The SB Nation baseball hub page, Baseball Nation, has all the latest from around the MLB.

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Cardinals Vs. Pirates: Bucs Kick Off Divisional Play

The Pirates host the first-place Cardinals for a three-game set.

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