AJ Burnett

Report: Pirates have been scouting Phillies starter A.J. Burnett

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As the Pirates prepare to gear up for another run at the post-season, they may be looking to bring back a familiar face. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a Pirates scout went out of his way to watch Burnett while he made his start at Turner Field against the Braves on Friday.

Burnett struggled, allowing six runs over five innings. In his first season with the Phillies, Burnett has not had nearly the same success that he enjoyed in his two seasons with the Pirates. On the season, the right-hander owns a 4.08 ERA over 21 starts. He has allowed a league-leading 58 walks. Part of the struggles may be attributed to the inguinal hernia, which he has been dealing with since mid-April.

Burnett, 37, is earning $7.5 million this season. His contract includes, for 2015, a $15 million mutual option or a $7.5 million player option. The player option can increase to as much as $12.75 million depending on how many starts he makes. He is currently at 21. Three more starts (24) will bump it up to $8.5 million; six more bump it up to $10 million; nine more bump it up to $11.75 million; 11 more bump it up to $12.75 million.

Jon Niese leaves start with knee pain

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.

Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.

Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.

Mark Trumbo’s home run streak ends

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 11:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits an RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 11, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.

Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.

But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.