Eleven games over .500.
Just the sound of that is outstanding, but that is exactly what the Pittsburgh Pirates are as they head into the All-Star break, closing out the first half of the season in style with a 13-2 beating of the San Francisco Giants.
The Bucs got a solid outing from A.J. Burnett, as he improved to 10-2 on the season, and broke out the lumber as they pounded out 17 hits on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen combined for eight of those hits (five by Walker), three homers (two by McCutchen) and six RBI (four by McCutchen). That was all the Bucs needed to enter the All-Star break winning their 11th series out of their past 13.
Cutch got the party started by hitting a two-run bomb in the first off Giants starter Tim Lincecum and walker added a solo shot in the third to make it 3-0.
Lincecum was chased in the fourth after a single by Burnett made it 4-0 and the Bucs tacked on two more on a sac fly by Drew Sutton and an RBI single by Walker.
The Pirates led 10-0 after six before the Giants finally got on the board with a two-run homer by Pablo Sandoval. That ultimately was the end of the road for Burnett, who lasted 6.1 innings, allowing only four hits and the two earned runs. Brad Lincoln relieved him and threw 2.2 perfect innings to close it out.
McCutchen added another two-run bomb in the Bucs half of the seventh and came out to a well deserved curtain call.
The only bad news for the Bucs on the afternoon was that Casey McGehee had to leave the game in the sixth after getting his third hit of the afternoon, with what was reported as a mild groin strain.
Winning Pitcher: A.J. Burnett (10-2); 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 2 BB
Losing Pitcher: Tim Lincecum (3-10); 3.1 IP, 7 H, 6ER, 3 K, 1 BB
MVP: Neil Walker; 5-for-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 R, 2 RBI (tough not to give it to Cutch but Walker had a great day)
LVP: Lincecum (tough to watch a two-time Cy Young Award winner struggle so bad)
Home Runs: McCutchen (17, 18), Walker (6), Sandoval (8)
Up Next: Friday, July 13 at Milwaukee Brewers at 8:10 p.m. EDT
Probable Starters: James McDonald (9-3, 2.37 ERA) vs. Zach Greinke (9-3, 3.32)