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CIN@PIT: Burnett strikes out eight in six innings

Thanks to a storm that cost the Pirates an early lead Tuesday night against the Cardinals, Pittsburgh will have to go back to square one as it tries to rebound from a series-opening loss.

The Bucs, coming off Monday's 10-6 defeat, led 4-2 through two innings, with starters Jonathan Sanchez and Jake Westbrook both enduring rough firsts. Then the rain hit and postponed the game after a lengthy delay, with no makeup date immediately announced.

Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett and St. Louis' Shelby Miller will hope for better results and better weather when they clash Wednesday night.

For Miller, 2013 has brought nothing but good results thus far. The 22-year-old rookie right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA, striking out 12 in 12 1/3 innings. On Friday at Busch Stadium, he shut out the Brewers on one hit over seven innings and racked up eight strikeouts.

That made Miller the only player since at least 1916 to produce two games of at least six shutout innings and no more than one hit within his first 10 career appearances. He also held the Reds scoreless over six one-hit frames Oct. 3 in his only big league start last season.

"Shelby absolutely dominated," Cardinals third baseman David Freese said after Friday's game. "He acted like a veteran to a T. It was fun to watch. Fun to play behind.

"Obviously he expects that out of [himself]. We expect that out of him. But to go out there and do it, that's special."

Burnett, on the other hand, is riding a wave of bad fortune extending back into 2012. In 12 starts since Aug. 21, the veteran righty has gone 1-8 despite a solid ERA of 3.51.

Burnett has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his three outings this season, and he is tied for the league lead with 27 strikeouts. He struck out eight over six innings against the Reds on Friday, when he took a no-decision in a 6-5 Pirates victory.

Burnett gave up 16 runs in 15 1/3 innings against the Cardinals last season, but 12 of those came May 2 in one disastrous game.

Cardinals: Robinson's first start wiped clean
• Outfielder Shane Robinson, batting leadoff, walked and scored a run in Tuesday's first inning. But the bad weather prevented him from getting another chance at the plate, and it then wiped away any official record of the game.

Robinson was making his first start of the season, with St. Louis finally facing a left-handed starter. He had hit .438 in Grapefruit League play and was off to a 2-for-7 start in a reserve role.

• Manager Mike Matheny said Tuesday that it was "yet to be determined" whether first baseman Matt Adams, a Pennsylvania native, would start in Wednesday's series finale. Adams, who grew up in Philipsburg and played at Slippery Rock University, is hitting .611 with three home runs in 20 plate appearances.

Pirates: Mazzaro arrives to help bullpen
• Pittsburgh selected the contract of right-hander Vin Mazzaro from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, optioning righty Bryan Morris to Indianapolis to clear space on the 25-man roster.

Mazzaro, who has previous big league experience with the A's and Royals, had racked up seven shutout innings in three Triple-A relief appearances this season. The Pirates needed a fresh arm in the bullpen after James McDonald lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his start Monday.

• Tuesday's postponement cost third baseman Pedro Alvarez a much-needed hit, his first-inning RBI single. Alvarez came in batting .073 with one RBI for the season.

Worth noting
• After Wednesday, the two teams will next meet from April 26-28 in St. Louis.

• A victory Wednesday would give the Cardinals four straight series wins. Comments