Philadelphia Phillies (37-50) at Pittsburgh Pirates (46-41), 1:35 p.m. (ET)

 

The Sports Network

(SportsNetwork.com) - Before joining the Phillies this year, A.J. Burnett pitched two seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates and last season helped then end a 21-year playoff drought.

Now, he's on the other side, pitching for team in the basement of the NL East. Burnett toes the rubber this afternoon as Philadelphia hopes to avoid a three- game sweep at PNC Park.

Despite striking out 10 batters Tuesday at Miami, Burnett didn't get a decision after allowing six hits and four runs -- three earned -- in six innings. In three career games against the Pirates, Burnett is 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA.

Jeff Locke pitched eight innings Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, but was in line for the loss after allowing two runs. Pittsburgh, though, scored three times in the ninth to pull out a 3-2 win, as Locke didn't get a decision. He's 1-0 over his last four starts.

Locke has won both of his career starts against the Phillies and has pitched to a 1.54 ERA, giving up two earned runs in 11 2/3 innings.

The last time the Pirates swept a series in the Steel City from the Phillies was April 19-21, 2002. A win Sunday would give the Pirates their first series sweep of 2014 against any opponent.

"We know what A.J. is going to do and what he's going to try and do," Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "We're going to come out and try and have an opportunity to get another sweep. Hopefully we can go through this one and be able to finally do it."

Yesterday, Edinson Volquez tossed seven solid innings and McCutchen added a two-run homer, leading the Pirates to a 3-2 win. Volquez (7-6) walked four but fanned five while allowing one run on four hits in his successful 106-pitch outing, which he aided by knocking in a run for the Pirates, winners of five of their last six.

Mark Melancon gave up a home run to Marlon Byrd in the ninth, but closed out the game to register his 16th save.

Cody Asche also went deep for the Phillies, while David Buchanan (4-5) surrendered six hits and three runs over six full frames in defeat.

Philadelphia fell to 37-50, tying the 2012 club for the worst record at this point in the season since the 1997 Phils were 25-62. They have lost eight of their last nine games.

"When you're working every day, you know it's there, regardless if it's there or not," Byrd said of the team's desire and professionalism. "It's working hard every single day, coming in here, preparing for a game, no matter who's on the mound, who's in the bullpen, and preparing for whatever team you're playing and having an approach."

Read more Baseball Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Cliff Lee leaves start against Nationals in 3rd

    Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee, who recently returned after missing two months with a left elbow strain, left in the third inning of Thursday night's game at Washington.

  •  
San Diego Padres' Jedd Gyorko high fives with Will Venable after his solo homer against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 31, 2014, in San Diego.

    Gyorko on a roll for Padres after return from DL

    Jedd Gyorko is starting to look like the player who showed so much promise as a rookie that the San Diego Padres gave him a $35 million contract two weeks into his second season.

  • Phillies' Lee leaves start

    Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee left in the bottom of the third inning of Thursday's start against the Washington Nationals.

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category