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Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Burnett: 'I'm going to stay positive'


Apparently, Blond A.J. is Bad A.J too.

Sporting newly-died blond hair on Tuesday, A.J. Burnett cruised through five innings but imploded in the sixth, allowing four runs on two hits (one HR), three walks (one intentional) and one wild pitch against Los Angeles.

The Yankees battled back to tie it in the seventh before Mariano Rivera allowed a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth that proved to be the difference for the Angels.

Afterwards, Burnett didn't exactly beat himself up over the sixth-inning meltdown.

"Before the sixth, I kept my team in it the best I could. And that's what I'm going to continue to keep doing," said Burnett, who is winless in his last seven starts with an 0-3 record and 6.00 ERA during the streak.

When asked to asses his outing, Burnett said, "I wouldn’t change a lot."

Apparently, neither would Joe Girardi. The manager said Burnett, who is in the third year of an $82.5 million contract, will remain in the Yankee rotation.

Burnett, who dyed his hair to match that of his seven-year-old son, last won on June 29 and is winless in 14 August starts with the Yankees.

"I haven't won in a long time," Burnett (8-9, 4.60 ERA) said. "I think I've pitched a lot of games that I could have won. I think a lot of things are out of my hands and are out of my control. I've given [up] three runs in [14] of my starts. If that is not good enough to win, I don't know what is."

He certainly had a win in his hands last Wednesday in Chicago. The Yankees handed him a 13-1 lead in the third. But Burnett couldn't get the win, getting pulled one out into the fifth. He allowed seven runs on a career-high 13 hits.

On Tuesday, it seemed early on like he left that awful start behind him.

Burnett was cruising through five innings, striking out six and giving up five hits but no runs. But that all changed in the sixth.

Burnett gave up a homer to Bobby Abreu to lead off the inning. He walked Mark Trumbo with one out and, after an intentional walk to Macier Izturis, he gave Peter Bourjos a free pass before allowing a double to deep center to catcher Jeff Mathis, who entered play Tuesday hitting .181.

"I'm going to stay positive," Burnett said afterward. "I threw the ball well tonight, I kept my team in it. The intentional walk was out of my control and Bourjos laid off some belt-hgh pitches that were close then Mathis hit the hook. That's the bottom line. I think the first five innings were probably the best that I've thrown in a long, long time."