National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, July 21st (All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (44-49) at Pittsburgh Pirates (52-40), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Carlos Zambrano (5-7, 4.22) Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (10-3, 3.78)
(Sports Network) - Andrew McCutchen has lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to new heights this season. He was at it again last night in the opener of a three- game series against the Miami Marlins and aims to do more damage this evening.
The All-Star outfielder recorded two more hits in Friday's 4-3 win over the Marlins, raising his average in July to a preposterous .500 (28-for-56). The reigning NL Player of the Month has seven round-trippers and 14 RBI in 14 games thus far in July.
Joining in the hit parade for the Pirates has been Neil Walker. His 17-game hitting streak came to an end Wednesday, but he stroked a go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the fifth inning last night as the Bucs posted their 27th come-from-behind win this season, second in the MLB only to the New York Yankees (29).
"This is a real resilient group," Walker said. "We feel confident that we're going to come back no matter who's out on the mound."
Kevin Correia (7-6), who has won a career-high five straight decisions, allowed three runs on eight hits over five frames, while Pedro Alvarez banged his 20th homer of the season.
The Marlins put the tying run on third in the ninth, but Joel Hanrahan struck out Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio to notch his 27th save of the year.
Pittsburgh right-hander A.J. Burnett had his nine-game winning streak broken in his last start, but enters tonight's contest with another unbeaten string. The 35-year-old, who lost at Milwaukee's Miller Park on Sunday, is 6-0 with a 2.10 ERA in nine starts at PNC Park this year. The Pirates are 9-0 when he pitches in the Steel City. He has allowed two earned runs or less in all but one of his nine starts this year at PNC Park.
Burnett, who pitched for the Marlins the first seven years of his career, has one start versus Miami. That came on June 20, 2009 when he dropped a 2-1 decision to Josh Johnson. At the time, Burnett was pitching for the Yankees.
Another pitcher with tremendous success in Pittsburgh is Carlos Zambrano, tonight's starter for the Marlins. The righty is 8-1 with a 3.94 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) at PNC Park. His only loss in Pittsburgh came on July 8, 2007. Overall, Zambrano is 13-8 in 32 games (28 starts) against the Pirates.
Zambrano broke a six-start winless skid on Sunday against the Nationals.
The Marlins had swept the Pirates in all six games last season.
07/21 10:31:23 ET