A.J. Burnett to start Sunday

Updated: July 6, 2013, 3:13 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- A.J. Burnett is set to return to the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation.

Manager Clint Hurdle says the veteran right-hander will start Sunday against the Chicago Cubs after being sidelined the past month because of a strained right calf.

Burnett apparently looked good enough in his bullpen sessions and simulated game that the Pirates decided a minor league rehab start was not necessary. Hurdle said Friday he didn't think his pitcher would be "as stimulated" as he would pitching at Wrigley Field.

Burnett is 4-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 14 starts, but even without him, the Pirates continue to roll along.

They entered Friday's game against the Cubs with a major league-leading 52-32 record and a two-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central.


Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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