National League Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

2:17 AM, Sep 28, 2013   |    comments
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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.

GAME NOTES:

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