The Pirates desperately needed A.J. Burnett Sunday afternoon, and he didn't disappoint.

Behind Burnett, the Pirates won for the 16th time in the past 17 games Burnett has started, defeating the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 at Great American Ball Park. The Pirates avoided the sweep against the NL Central leaders and now trail the Reds by 4 1/2 games.

Burnett (14-3) rebounded from putting three men on in the first inning to suffocate the Reds over the next eight. He pitched 8 2/3 innings, coming one out short of his second consecutive complete game.