A.J. Burnett will try to play the role of stopper as he takes the mound Saturday for the Pirates, losers of their last four games, against the Cleveland Indians (4:05 p.m.).
The Indians defeated the Pirates 2-0 Friday night as Justin Masterson outdueled James McDonald.
Burnett's mound opponent on Saturday will be Ubaldo Jimenez, whose career has taken a tumble since he was a National League pitcher with the Colorado Rockies. He doesn't throw nearly as hard as he did then, and his strikeout rate has fallen precipitously. This year he has an atrocious K:BB ratio of one, having struck out 44 batters and walked 43. In his last two starts, however, he's struck out 11 and walked one, allowing a total of two earned runs in the process. A start against the Pirates' weak offense might represent a chance for him to keep that his run of good pitching going.
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