When the 35-year-old Burnett takes the mound on Saturday against the Indians, he'll look to become the first Pirate to win more than five straight decisions since Matt Capps (eight) did it in 2008. It would also be Burnett's longest consecutive win streak since July 3-Aug. 19, 2008, when he won six straight for the Blue Jays. Only three other Major League pitchers -- R.A. Dickey (eight), Matt Cain (seven) and Robbie Ross (six) -- have longer active winning streaks this season entering Saturday.
Burnett, whose fifth win came at the expense of the Royals on June 10, has a 2.05 ERA, while striking out 25 batters and walking 13 during his win streak. Giving up two earned runs on five hits against Kansas City, Burnett lasted 7 1/3 innings, and he said that length is his biggest priority.
"You want to go out and go as deep as you can every time out," Burnett said after his sixth win of the season. "It just worked that way. I had a low pitch count early. That worked in my favor."
The Indians, who will counter with right-hander Ubaldo Jiminez on Saturday, have taken notice of not just Burnett, but all of the Pirates pitchers. And they saw how good Pittsburgh pitching can be on Friday night, when Cleveland scored just two runs in its series-opening win.
"They have a good pitching staff," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Look at the numbers. They pitch well and their bullpen has done a terrific job. Most of their offense comes from [center fielder Andrew McCutchen], and they play well as a team. That's what they've done. But the majority of their wins come out of their pitching staff if you look up the defensive stats."
The Pirates have a 3.51 team ERA, which places them in the top five in the Majors.
Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan said he knows runs will be tough to come by this weekend, including Saturday against Burnett. The key, he said, is to work the counts and hopefully find pitches he and his teammates can hit.
"It's going to be a good series," Hannahan said. "It's a series where we have to be patient at the plate and get our pitch to drive. You still got to be aggressive until you get that pitch."
Pirates: Jones finding success in cleanup spot
• Since taking over as the Pirates' cleanup hitter on June 3, Garrett Jones has been playing some of his most offensively productive baseball of the season.
Jones has reached base safely in 10 of his last 12 games and is 13-for-39 (.333) with six RBIs and two home runs in that stretch. While those numbers aren't record-breaking, Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said his success at the plate has been important for the Pirates and has coincided with Jones taking a more relaxed approach.
"He realizes, 'I don't need to be Babe Ruth, I just have to be me, the guy who had some success when he first got here,'" Hurdle said of Jones. "I think he tried to take it to another level, and he lost his way a bit."
Indians: Hannahan returns from DL
• Playing in his first game since May 26, Hannahan went 0-for-3 in Friday night's 2-0 win.
Hannahan missed 16 straight games with a strained left calf, which landed him on the 15-day disabled list. Cleveland activated him before Friday's game and optioned Scott Barnes to Triple-A Columbus to make room.
Before the strained calf, Hannahan, who also missed 11 games with a back injury, was batting .276 with 18 RBIs and three home runs in 31 games. He said he's excited to be back, but manager Manny Acta said it will be a little bit before letting Hannahan loose.
"He's not going to get out there and play every day from the get-go," Acta said. "We're still going to have to be cautious bringing him along. We're just happy to have him back."
• With his RBI single in the eighth inning on Friday, Indians center fielder Michael Brantley extended his career-best hit streak to 22 games. It's the longest active streak in the Majors, and the longest by an Indian since Casey Blake's 26-game hit streak in 2007.
• Indians closer Chris Perez earned his Major League-leading 21st straight save on Friday.
• The Pirates are on a four-game losing streak after Friday's 2-0 loss. Before the current skid, Pittsburgh hadn't lost more than two in a row since dropping five straight from April 10-14.