The Philadelphia Phillies shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 Monday on a lackluster start by A.J. Burnett. Burnett allowed two runs in the second inning on walks alone. Left-handed pitcher John Lannan got the start for the Phillies, throwing three innings while giving up one hit and a pair of walks.
A.J. Burnett lasted one and one-third innings before being relieved. Burnett was penciled in to pitch three innings, but his pitch count rose quickly in the four-run second inning. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard combined to go 0-5, but newly acquired Michael Young went 2-4 with two RBIs.
Ben Revere also had a big day for the Phillies from the lead-off position, going 2-3 while scoring once and driving one in. Yuniesky Betancourt was the only other Phillies player to have multiple hits, finishing the day with two hits while playing shortstop.
The Pirates Andrew McCutcheon didn’t play in the game, but Russell Martin had two at-bats as the designated hitter with nothing to show for it. Travis Snider had the only hit for the Pirates on the day with a double off of John Lannan in the first inning.
Mike Adams and Raul Valdes also pitched for the Phillies, while Wandy Rodriguez pitched three scoreless innings for the Pirates before leaving to go join the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic. Rodriguez is expected to be the Pirates no. 2 starter at the beginning of the season.
The Pirates have only won three out of ten games during Spring Training, and the bad outing by A.J. Burnett raises concerns going into Opening Day. Burnett has struggled before in his past, going 10-15 with a whopping 5.26 earned run average in 2010 with the Yankees. Burnett has since settled down and made a great first impression in Pittsburgh, finishing last season at 16-10 with a much lower, 3.51 earned run average.
The Phillies return to the field Wednesday against the Washington Nationals, followed by a game with the Minnesota Twins Thursday. The Phillies are coming off a not-so-impressive season at an even 81-81 record, which didn’t get them a playoff berth for the first time in six years. The Phillies shut out Monday was a great sign for projected 5th starter John Lannan and new third baseman Michael Young, as the Phillies look to erase the average play from last season.