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Slump Goes on for Pirates, Burnett

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For the fourth consecutive time in a big August game, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett came up small Monday night and the club lost another game it badly needed, 4-3, to the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. This is a serious Cy Young Award candidate? Please. Spare me that argument.

That doesn't diminish what Burnett did for the Pirates in the first four months of the long, grueling baseball season. He was awesome. He and center fielder Andrew McCutchen are the two biggest reasons the team still clings to life in the playoff chase, although its pulse is weakening quickly after its 13th loss in 18 games. It trails the Cardinals by three games for the final wild-card slot with 34 games left, including two more against the Cardinals the next two nights. Burnett and McCutchen are the biggest reasons the team still should finish with a winning record for the first time in 20...

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