It appeared there was no denying Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett Wednesday night as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. However, right fielder Carlos Beltran stepped up and became a hero for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 5-0 loss.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Beltran hit a 0-1 slider to deep right-center field for a double. It was the only hit Burnett, or any of the Pittsburgh pitchers for that matter, surrendered in the ball game. One has to wonder why Burnett would leave an 81 mile per hour pitch over the plate with so much on the line, especially to Beltran of all people, but he did and paid for it.
“I think that was one of the few that he threw right around the middle of the strike zone,” Beltran told Cardinals.com. “He threw me a first one for a strike, and the second one was more hittable than the first one. I put a good swing on that one.”
Burnett has tossed one no-hitter in his career, which occurred on May 12, 2001. However, the Pirates as a franchise have not recorded one since the 1997 season. It certainly would have been exciting for Pittsburgh to do it against St. Louis of all teams, but fortunately, it did not go down that way for the Cardinals.
The double was only Beltran’s eighth hit at PNC Park since 2010. The 35-year-old is batting .189 with eight RBI, six walks, three runs and 10 strikeouts over that span. However, he has had a lot more success against Burnett as he is now batting .303 in his career against the pitcher.