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PIT@PHI: Burnett earns his eighth straight win

After pitching seven shutout innings against the Dodgers, Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum appeared to turn a corner but quickly fell apart in his next start, allowing eight runs, including seven earned, to the Nationals.

Lincecum will look to get back on the right track in the Giants' weekend series finale against the Pirates at PNC Park on Sunday.

"Coming in here and dealing with that heat -- it got the better of me today," Lincecum said after his last start in Washington, D.C. "[But] I'm not going to look at that as an excuse. I still have to execute pitches."

It doesn't promise to get any easier going up against a hot Pittsburgh lineup that's won nine of its last 11 games and scored 76 runs in that stretch.

"This team, last year, I think surprised a lot of people, how they were being talked about at the All-Star break," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the Pirates. "Sometimes it takes a year to get that experience and realize you can play with anybody. Looks like that's where they're at."

Pittsburgh's starter, A.J. Burnett, hasn't been a slouch either. The Pirates have won his last 11 starts, with the righty picking up the decision in eight of them.

Though he hasn't lost since May 2, Burnett has had some close calls, including his last start against Houston that saw him pitch five innings with five strikeouts and six runs against him on 12 hits and a pair of walks.

The Pirates hold the lead in the National League Central, and manager Clint Hurdle told his team not to let the pressures of last season affect them for the rest of 2012.

"Boys, this is very similar to the position we were in last year," Hurdle said to his players. "Are we different? Why? How? What's going to be different? Go home and relax, and think about being uncommon in the second half. Let's do something different than what we did last year."

Giants: Bochy announces post-break rotation
Manager Bruce Bochy named Madison Bumgarner as the club's starter for July 13 against the Astros, the first game after the All-Star break.

Bumgarner is 10-5 on the season with a 3.27 ERA but was roughed up for seven runs in his most recent start against Washington.

Lincecum will start in the second game back, followed by Matt Cain.

• Closer Santiago Casilla was still dealing with a finger blister before Saturday's game against the Pirates. Casilla blew a save Thursday against Washington and has blown three saves in his last four outings.

Pirates: Marte remains possible option in 2012
The Bucs figure to be buyers around the Trade Deadline this season but one possible addition could be waiting in Indianapolis.

Starling Marte was named an International League All-Star after batting .289 with nine homers and 51 RBIs for Triple-A Indianapolis and could make his mark in the Majors later this season.

The Pirates are rumored to be in the market for an outfielder and may have a suitable one ready with Marte.

Worth noting
• Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutcheon holds an NL-leading .359 average, just edging out Melky Cabrera's .353 mark for San Francisco

• With the news Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina won't be playing in the All-Star Game, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who last played catcher in 2009, said he doesn't plan to play behind the plate. Comments