Without circumstances uncommon in the second half of the Pirates' season converged Saturday night, A.J. Burnett pitched poorly and the Pirates' offense struggled to score.
Jason Marquis dominated the Pirates Saturday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a 5-0 defeat of the Pirates at PNC Park. The Pirates have lost three in a row, while the Padres have won six consecutive games.
The third-largest crowd in PNC Park history -- 39,485 fans -- got to see Marquis get as many hits as the entire Pirates lineup. Marquis did not allow a hit through the first six innings of the game. The only Pirate to reach base during that time was Pedro Alvarez, who walked in the second. Marquis pitched a complete-game shutout, the eighth complete game of his career and first since April 2011.
Marquis began the season with the Minnesota Twins, but the Twins released him in May. He signed a minor-league contract with the Padres at the end of May and joined the major league roster in early June.
He was 5-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 12 starts for the Padres entering Saturday's game.
Travis Snider hit a grounder back toward the mound to lead off the seventh inning. Everth Cabrera could not handle the ball, and the play was ruled a base hit.
Marquis (6-6) had alternated good and bad starts with his past four outings. He allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings in his previous start against the New York Mets.
Burnett's outing, during which he allowed five runs, four earned, in 5 2/3 innings, represented a sharp departure from his previous work. He had pitched 17 2/3 innings in his past two outings and had not allowed more than two runs in a start since July 15.
Burnett struck out 10 batters and walked only two, but those two walks came on back-to-back batters. One loaded the bases, the other pushed home a run.
Burnett left a first-pitch fastball up to Chase Headley in the first inning, and Headley hit his 18th home run and third in the past two games.
Burnett allowed a single to Marquis in the second inning, but struck out the other three batters he faced.
Cabrera tripled to the gap in left-center field to lead off the third inning and scored on Headley's ground ball to give the Padres a 2-0 lead.
Will Venable reached second base after Garrett Jones' error on a ground ball in the fourth. Cameron Maybin singled to left, scoring Venable. Starling Marte's high throw home missed the cutoff man and let Venable reach second, but Burnett struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
Burnett struck out 10 batters through the first five innings, and in three different innings he struck out three batters.
Venable extended the Padres' lead in the sixth inning with his seventh home run of the season. Marquis kept the inning alive with a two-out single, his second hit of the game. Alexi Amarista singled, and the runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch. Cabrera walked to load the bases for Headley, and Burnett walked Headley to score a run. At that point, manager Clint Hurdle removed Burnett in favor of Jared Hughes.
Hughes got Carlos Quentin to fly out and end the inning.
Alvarez recorded the second hit off Marquis, a rope of a single to the wall in right field in the eighth.
The defeat assured the Pirates of a series loss and made their record 63-50. They are 4 1/2 games back of the Cincinnati Reds, who defeated the Chicago Cubs Saturday, in the NL Central.
Snider left the game after the seventh inning due to right hamstring tightness.homepage - breaking - pirates
First Published August 12, 2012 3:00 AM