BRADENTON, Fla. -- Clint Hurdle released the pitching schedule for this weekend's games.
Saturday at Rays: Jeff Locke, Chris Leroux, Bryan Morris, Mike Zagurski, Duke Welker, Vin Mazzaro, Brooks Brown.
Sunday vs. Braves: James McDonald, Jonathan Sanchez, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson.
Ryan Reid will pitch in one of the games, Hurdle said. Ray Searage has pitch counts for everybody.
Video courtesy of the Pirates
***A.J. Burnett downplayed the importance of his first opening-day start, but admitted that it will be special.
"If I'm going to tell you that I'm going to treat it like a normal start in July, I'd be lying to you," he said. "It's going to be a packed house, it's going to be a crazy atmosphere, it's going to be great."
Asked about the end of last season and his expectations for Pittsburgh, Burnett said: "I'm sure people are tired of 'we're taking steps, we're getting better.' The bottom line is we are getting better. No one was more upset than the guys in the clubhouse last year. It was the fact that we knew we were a better team. We knew we were better than we were.
"I can see from outside. I know how it can look. Last couple weeks, it didn't look good. Effort's there, man. Guys are doing their thing and it didn't work out. We did learn from it. Hopefully we can change that around."
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