PITTSBURGH (AP) -- St. Louis scout Jim Leyland kept repeating his
message to manager Tony La Russa before the Cardinals faced
Pittsburgh rookie left-hander Sean Burnett: Don't be deceived by
the fact that he's yet to win in the majors.
Burnett backed up the former Pirates manager's scouting report
by pitching six shutout innings for his first major league victory,
and Tike Redman drove in two runs to lead Pittsburgh past the
division-leading Cardinals 3-0 on Tuesday night.
"My chief scout told me at least a dozen times, 'I really like
that guy, I really like that guy,' " La Russa said. "I knew as
soon as he said it once he was good. He is a very good-looking
The 21-year-old Burnett (1-2) got little run support in his
first three career starts, only to outpitch Chris Carpenter (8-3)
as the last-place Pirates beat the Cardinals for the second
straight night. Previously, St. Louis had won 14 of 16 in
The Pirates won their fourth in a row, matching a season high
previously set May 13-16. That was just before a dismal stretch
that saw them drop 21 of 25 and lose 11½ games in the standings to
Burnett settled in after working out of jams in each of the
first two innings. He stranded runners on first and second by
striking out Reggie Sanders in the first, then retired three in a
row after allowing leadoff singles to John Mabry and So Taguchi in
"It's like we've said, this kid's makeup is off the charts,"
Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said of Burnett, who has a 3.09
ERA. "He's not fazed by big situations and he proved it again."
The Cardinals stranded seven runners during Burnett's six
innings and nine overall and have scored only one run in the
three-game series, which started with a 2-1 loss Monday to Kris
Benson and reliever Jose Mesa. They had won five in a row coming
into the series.
"I felt we were going to be able to get to him, but he kept
bearing down and kept us off balance with his changeup," Sanders
said. "There were great opportunities for us, and we've been
capitalizing on those situations, but tonight it just didn't
Burnett left after throwing 101 pitches, striking out four and
walking two. He has as many victories in the majors as he did at
Triple-A Nashville, where he was 1-5 with five consecutive losses.
Burnett was more nervous after leaving the game than he was
while pitching, repeatedly pacing the clubhouse floor until pitcher
Kip Wells finally told him to relax.
"He said I was going to wear out the rubber (in his sandals),"
Burnett said. "It's great to get my first win and it's certainly
special to beat a good team like them. I was a little antsy, a
little jumpy (at the start), but as I started getting my sinker
down, I got in a groove."
Mark Corey followed Burnett with a scoreless seventh, getting
Edgar Renteria on a long fly ball to left with Tony Womack on
second, and Salomon Torres pitched the eighth. Mesa, who got the
victory Monday with a scoreless ninth, finished up again for his
18th save in as many chances.
Burnett had pitched with a lead only once previously, but the
Pirates gave him a 1-0 lead in the second when Carpenter walked
Jason Bay with one out, Randall Simon singled and Bay came home on
Redman's force-play grounder.
The Cardinals had won 10 of Carpenter's last 11 starts and 11 of
his 14 starts overall, but the right-hander gave up two more runs
in the sixth before leaving.
Rob Mackowiak singled, Craig Wilson doubled and Simon was
intentionally walked to load the bases. Redman singled into left
field against a drawn-in infield, and Wilson scored on Bobby Hill's
grounder to the mound.
The Pirates began the three-game series with a 11-22 home
record that was the majors' worst, while the Cardinals still own
the best road record (26-14). ... Carpenter is 6-2 on the road. ...
The Cardinals had lost consecutive games only once since dropping
three straight May 22-26. ... The Pirates are 8-19 in June and must
sweep the series to avoid their first 20-loss month since they were
8-20 in August 2001. ... Even with the two losses, the Cardinals
are 23-9 since May 27. ... Two of the Cardinals' three shutout
losses have occurred since June 20, when they lost 6-0 to