Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Pirates are one step closer to bringing
the NL wild card game to Pittsburgh after A.J. Burnett quieted the Cincinnati
Reds and pitched his club to a 4-1 victory on Friday.
With the St. Louis Cardinals all but ready to wrap up the NL Central, the
winner of this weekend's season-ending series between the division rivals will
host Tuesday's single-game playoff.
Burnett (10-11) did his part with eight stellar innings of one-run ball. The
right-hander, whose lone blemish came on Todd Frazier's home run in the fourth
inning, scattered five hits and one walk while striking out six.
Pedro Alvarez smashed a mammoth two-run homer and Marlon Byrd recorded a two-
run single for the Pirates, who lead the playoff-bound Reds by two games with
two to play, but still have to win one more to secure hosting duties.
Cincinnati only trails the season series by one, 9-8, and would in effect
secure the tiebreaker with wins in the next two games. Bronson Arroyo gets the
call Saturday afternoon opposite Charlie Morton.
Arroyo will try for a better fate than Homer Bailey (11-12), who was tagged
for four runs on four hits and four walks in five-plus inning of work.
The Sports Network