Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: A. J. on a great roll with Pirates

MLB Notebook: A. J. on a great roll with Pirates

MLB Notebook: A. J. on a great roll with Pirates
On May 2, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett had the type of outing that can create lasting havoc on one's overall numbers.

That night in St. Louis, Burnett allowed 12 hits and 12 runs (all earned) while failing to complete three innings. With this disaster as part of his overall line at the time, his ERA stood at 8.04 in 15 2/3 innings.

Since then, Burnett has lowered his ERA in all but one of his starts, and with his latest gem -- six scoreless innings vs. the Tigers on Friday -- his season ERA now sits at 3.24, which is good enough for 20th among all qualifying National League pitchers. Without that start in St. Louis, Burnett would own a 1.87 ERA in 72 1/3 innings -- still enough innings to qualify for the ERA title with a mark low enough to lead the NL.

2012: Consecutive Starts Won
Pitcher Streak IP ERA
Matt Cain* 8 54 2/3 2.30
A.J. Burnett* 7 43 1/3 1.87
Lance Lynn 6 38 2/3 1.40
R.A. Dickey* 6 48 2/3 0.18
Stephen Strasburg* 6 36 2.75
* active streak
In Pittsburgh's 4-1 win in the series opener vs. the Tigers, Burnett won his seventh consecutive start, allowing two hits in his six innings. The right-hander is the first Pirates pitcher to capture wins in seven straight starts since Dock Ellis won eight in a row in 1974.

From July 15 through Aug. 27 that season, Ellis completed six of his eight starts, and he allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 54 hits and 10 walks in 70 2/3 innings (1.53 ERA). During his streak, Burnett has thrown 43 1/3 innings, allowed 33 hits, 20 walks and 10 runs (nine earned), posted a 1.87 ERA and fanned 31. Burnett's winning streak is the second longest of the 2012 season.

Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4, giving him nine multihit games this month. Overall in June, McCutchen is batting .378 and slugging .662 with a 1.096 OPS, and he has 11 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs in 19 games.

The Pirates are 12-7 in June, tying them with the D-backs for the best winning percentage in the NL.

Brewers-White Sox
The Brewers defeated the White Sox, 1-0, in 10 innings. Zack Greinke went the first nine for Milwaukee and picked up the win after allowing three hits and one walk with four strikeouts for a game score (an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance) of 84. White Sox left-hander Chris Sale went the first eight for Chicago and allowed four hits and one walk while tallying seven strikeouts for an 80 game score .

The game marked the first Interleague contest since 2004 to feature both starting pitchers producing a game score of at least 80. On June 8, 2004, Anaheim's Kelvim Escobar produced a score of 84, while Milwaukee's Ben Sheets had a score of 90, and the Brewers beat the Angels, 1-0, in 17 innings.

• In Baltimore's 2-1 victory over the Nationals, Jason Hammel tied a career high with 10 strikeouts, issued no walks and allowed one run (unearned) in eight innings to improve to 8-2.

The line worked out to a game score of 80 for Hammel, whose previous start produced a score of 91. He is the first Orioles pitcher since Mike Mussina in 1995 to have back-to-back starts in a season that produced scores of at least 80.

Here and there
• Minnesota's Ben Revere went 4-for-4, giving him 10 multihit games this month. In 19 games in June, Revere is batting .333 (28-for-84), with his 28 hits tied with McCutchen for the third most in the Majors. Joey Votto owns 32 hits this month, just one ahead of Mike Trout's 31.

• Making his season debut in his first game as an American Leaguer, the Rangers' Roy Oswalt picked up the win after going 6 2/3 innings and allowing one run. Among all NL pitchers from 2001-11, Oswalt owned the most wins (159), the most strikeouts (1,759), the second-most innings (2,154) and the fifth-lowest ERA, at 3.21 (minimum 1,000 innings).

1893-2012: Most strikeouts in First six Seasons
Pitcher K's
Tom Seaver 1,404
Bert Blyleven 1,327
Mark Langston 1,253
Bob Feller 1,233
Walter Johnson 1,218
Tim Lincecum 1,218
Roger Clemens 1,215
Hideo Nomo 1,212
• Tim Lincecum fanned eight in six innings to bring his career total to 1,218 strikeouts. In the process, Lincecum passed Hideo Nomo and Roger Clemens and matched Walter Johnson for the fifth-most strikeouts for a pitcher through his first six seasons, since 1893.

• Shin-Soo Choo tripled and scored a run in Cleveland's 2-0 win over Houston. Since being inserted into the leadoff spot, Choo has played 35 games and has put up a slash line of .304/.368/.520, with the Indians going 19-16 in those contests. Overall, Cleveland is 37-32.

• Carlos Beltran went 2-for-5 with a pair of two-run doubles, and the Cardinals defeated the Royals, 11-4. Beltran is now tied with Roberto Alomar for the seventh-most career extra-base hits (794) for a switch-hitter.

• Jose Bautista went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBIs and hit his 23rd home run of the season to tie Adam Dunn for the Major League lead. Bautista began the season by hitting three homers in his first 23 contests and putting up a .181/.320/.313 line during that span. Since then, in addition to hitting 20 home runs, he has posted a line of .265/.380/.653 in 47 games.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.