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Felix Hernandez gets better of A.J. Burnett, Pirates

Joe Sargent

The Pirates fell 2-1 Wednesday afternoon thanks to a strong performance by Felix Hernandez. Hernandez pitched eight innings, striking out five and walking one.

Hernandez pitched a portion of the game from behind, though. In what's become a wonderfully familiar pattern, Starling Marte reached base to start the game, with a double to left. Andrew McCutchen followed two batters later with an RBI single. Beyond that, the Pirates could do little against Hernandez -- Jordy Mercer doubled to lead off the fifth and Clint Barmes moved him to third, but Mercer got stranded, and after the first, that's as close to scoring as the Pirates got.

Meanwhile, A.J. Burnett was dominant through the first several innings, striking out five batters while setting the Mariners' hitters down in order in the first three innings. A leadoff walk to Michael Saunders in the fourth led to a run on a wild pitch, however. (Michael McKenry was catching; one wonders if Russell Martin would have gotten to it.) Burnett also allowed a solo homer to right-center by Jesus Montero in the seventh. Burnett finished with nine strikeouts and four walks through seven innings. He allowed just two hits and got 11 ground ball outs.