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Tempers rise after disputed call in sixth inning

PITTSBURGH -- A controversial call awarded the Cardinals' Jon Jay second base Tuesday in the sixth inning of the Pirates' 2-1 win in 11 frames during Game 1 of a doubleheader at PNC Park.

With the game tied, 1-1, Jay swung and missed at A.J. Burnett's two-strike breaking ball, which hit the Cardinals' center fielder on the foot and bounced toward the Pittsburgh dugout. Pirates catcher Russell Martin walked slowly toward the ball and Jay, who led off the inning, ran to first and then took off for second. According to the MLB rulebook, section 6.05, a batter is out when he attempts to hit a third strike and the ball touches him.

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Burnett, Martin and manager Clint Hurdle argued their case to home-plate umpire Eric Cooper, who then gathered the other umpires to discuss the call at Hurdle's request. After a short discussion, the play stood and Jay wound up at second base.

"Nobody saw it. We're all human and make mistakes," Burnett said. "Even if the strikeout was off his foot, you've got to regroup and keep making pitches one at a time. That's what I preach to these guys all the time, so I've got to be able to do it. Emotions were on the line left and right."

Two pitches later, Burnett missed on a fastball he thought caught the plate with Matt Holliday batting. The veteran waved his hands at Cooper, who then walked toward and engaged in a brief argument with Burnett. The righty eventually struck out Holliday, got Carlos Beltran to fly out and Matt Adams dribbled a comebacker to Burnett, who knocked it down and fired to first and escaped the jam.

"He's not one to hide his emotions by any means, anywhere," Hurdle said of Burnett. "That's one of the things you love about him."

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for

Pittsburgh Pirates, A.J. Burnett, Jon Jay