ST. LOUIS — Russell Martin wanted a better fate for his starting pitcher and helped deliver a happier ending.
The Pittsburgh Pirates catcher hit a two-run home run to highlight a four-run seventh inning and the Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Saturday. The comeback gave A.J. Burnett (2-2) his second victory over St. Louis in 10 days.
“It was great, man. I was really happy about that,” said Martin, who went 2-for-4 with a double. “A.J.’s been pitching his butt off all year and he hasn’t had too many wins under his belt and he should. It seemed like it was going to go like kind of how it’s been but we were able to muster up some wins and find a way to do it for him.
“It’s definitely gratifying. It feels great.”
Burnett gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. His six strikeouts expanded his team record for the month of April to a league-leading 48. Burnett threw seven shutout innings in a 5-0 win over St. Louis on April 17.
He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in his six starts this season, giving up three just twice. The Pirates haven’t backed him at the plate, however, providing him an average of 2.33 runs.
Twins 7, Rangers 2: Pedro Hernandez pitched five shutout innings for his first major league win, Josh Willingham homered and the Twins beat the Rangers to end a three-game slide.
Anthony Swarzak, Brian Duensing and Jared Burton each work a scoreless inning before Glen Perkins struggled in the ninth, giving up a two-run double to Mitch Moreland.
Derek Holland (1-2) gave up five hits and four runs — three earned in seven innings for Texas, which lost for just the second time in nine games.
Red Sox 8, Astros 4: David Ortiz had two hits and three RBIs to extend his torrid start after a long layoff, and Felix Doubront overcame a wild first inning to pitch into the seventh as the Red Sox beat the struggling Astros.
It was 14th win in 19 games for the surging Red Sox (17-7). Boston can tie a club record for the most wins in April by completing a four-game sweep over Houston (7-17) on Sunday.
Boston matched its best start since 2002 with its fourth straight win.
Royals 3, Indians 2: Ervin Santana pitched seven scoreless innings, Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer and the Royals held on to beat the Indians.
Santana (3-1), who was acquired in an Oct. 31 trade with Anaheim for minor-league pitcher Brandon Sisk, allowed six singles, struck out five and walked none.
Greg Holland logged his sixth save in seven opportunities.