Martin's homer sparks Pirates
Russell Martin wanted a better fate for his starting pitcher and helped deliver a happier ending.
The Pittsburgh Pirates catcher hit a two-run home run to highlight a four-run seventh inning and the Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Saturday. The comeback gave A.J. Burnett (2-2) his second victory over St. Louis in 10 days.
"It was great, man. I was really happy about that," said Martin, who went 2-for-4 with a double. "A.J.'s been pitching his butt off all year and he hasn't had too many wins under his belt and he should. It seemed like it was going to go like kind of how it's been but we were able to muster up some wins and find a way to do it for him.
"It's definitely gratifying. It feels great."
Burnett gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. His six strikeouts expanded his team record for the month of April to a league-leading 48. Burnett threw seven shutout innings in a 5-0 win over St. Louis on April 17.
He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in his six starts this season, giving up three just twice. The Pirates haven't backed him at the plate, however, providing him an average of 2.33 runs.
Burnett used 111 pitches earning an exit earlier than he wanted but he was pleased with his results and the victory.
"It feels good just because the fact that these guys keep going," he said.
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook left after six innings with a 2-0 lead in search of his 100th career victory. He struck out a season-high six and scattered six hits to lower his ERA to 0.98 in five starts.
Nationals 6, Reds 3: Bryce Harper homered and singled, Dan Haren had his best start of the young season and Washington beat Cincinnati.
Denard Span and Jayson Werth each had two hits for Washington, which has won the first three games of the four-game set.
Haren (2-3) didn't quite match Jordan Zimmermann's one-hitter and Gio Gonzalez's impressive eight innings of one-hit ball the previous two games, but he was sharp enough. Haren allowed two runs and six hits over six innings, lowering his ERA from 7.36 to 6.29.
Cubs 3, Marlins 2: David DeJesus hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning to help lift Chicago to a win over struggling Miami.
Travis Wood (2-1) pitched six innings allowing two runs and struck out five for Chicago, which has won four of five.
Three relievers held the lead to get to Kevin Gregg, who pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
In Saturday's Interleague game:
Tigers 7, Braves 4: Omar Infante and Jhonny Peralta both hit two-run homers, and Rick Porcello bounced back from a nightmarish start last weekend to pitch into the seventh inning, helping Detroit down Atlanta.
Infante's homer off Kris Medlen (1-3) broke a 3-all tie in the fourth. Porcello (1-2) allowed three runs in 61-e innings. He didn't make it through the first last Saturday at Los Angeles, when he gave up nine runs to the Angels.