Pirates Defeat Royals 3-2, Sweep Series

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PITTSBURGH — The Kansas City Royals rallied late, but ultimately fell 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday at PNC Park.

Pirates starter A.J. Burnett (6-2, 3.61 ERA) carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before the Royals got anything going. Burnett gave up two runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking two.

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen had all three RBI’s for the Pirates, hitting a two-run home run off Bruce Chen in the third to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead. Chen (5-6, 4.44 ERA) gave up three runs on four hits in five innings, fanning five and walking one.

Royals reliever Greg Holland (1-2, 4.26 ERA) was particularly sharp, striking out the side in the eighth to keep a potential comeback alive.

Kansas City got plenty of runners on base late, but couldn’t knock them in. Right fielder Mitch Maier struck out looking with the bases loaded in the eighth, and second baseman Johnny Giavotella struck out looking with two on in the ninth to end the game.

This is the first time in 11 years that the Pirates (32-27, 19-11 home) have swept an Interleague series. They’re currently one of the hottest teams in baseball, having won 8 of their last 10 games.

In their first losing road trip of the season, the Royals (24-34, 16-14 away) went 4-29 with runners in scoring position. They have now lost four straight games, and five of their last six.

Kansas City has Monday off before they welcome back pitcher Zack Greinke (7-2, 3.13 ERA) and the Milwaukee Brewers for a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday.

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