CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A.J. Burnett faced his former team on Sunday afternoon in a Grapefruit League game between the Phillies and Pirates at Bright House Field.
Burnett, who signed a one-year, $16 million deal with the Phillies last month, tipped his cap to the Pirates before he allowed one hit, one run, two hit batters and struck out one in two innings in a 4-1 loss. Burnett pitched for the Pirates from 2012-13, helping the club reach the postseason last year.
"I might have planned it that way," Burnett joked, when asked about making his first Grapefruit League start against the Pirates. "It was good to see them."
Burnett allowed his only run in the first inning, although he probably should have escaped without it. He allowed a one-out double to Gregory Polanco and hit Pedro Alvarez with a pitch with two outs. Chris Dickerson then hit a ground ball to Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis, who scooted over toward second base for the forceout.
Galvis clearly touched the bag before Alvarez arrived, but second-base umpire Mark Wegner called Alvarez safe to allow Polanco to score.
Pirates right-hander Stolmy Pimenthal allowed one hit and struck out one in two scoreless innings. Dickerson drove in the Bucs' first two runs, plating Pedro Alvarez with a double in the third inning.
"I've been working on the same thing with my mechanics, my delivery, being in control. I tried to do what I can do," Pimentel said. "I feel pretty good today. I used all my pitches and I'll keep working on my fastball command."
Josh Harrison capped the scoring with a home run in the sixth inning.
Up next for the Pirates: The Bucs will host the Red Sox on Monday at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. Lefty Francisco Liriano will make the start. Edinson Volquez, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris and Jared Hughes are also scheduled to pitch for the Bucs. The starting lineup will feature Starling Marte, Russell Martin, Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker. Travis Snider, who started at designated hitter on Sunday, is slated to start in right field.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less