A.J. Burnett had a lead before he took the mound Tuesday night. After that his usual serving of fastballs and knuckle curves did the trick.

Burnett rebounded from two mediocre outings during the Pirates' 8-1 win against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park their second win in a row. The St. Louis Cardinals' loss Tuesday night meant that the Pirates took a two-game lead in the NL Central.

The Pirates pounded six extra-base hits and ended Padres starter Tyson Ross' hot streak. The Padres' bullpen made a mess of things in the seventh and allowed the Pirates to score five runs in the inning. For the third time this season the Pirates had three triples in one game.

"It was fun to see everybody in this room contribute" Burnett said. "That's what's going on right now."

Neil Walker went 2 for 4 with a home run and Gaby Sanchez went 2 for 4 with a double.

Burnett (6-8) allowed one run on four hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts. Pirates starters have pitched seven innings in three consecutive games.

"We've had some games spent a long time on the field" Burnett said. "Give those guys some rest down there [in the bullpen]. We're going to need them in a month."

In his two previous starts since throwing a complete game against the Colorado Rockies Aug. 4 Burnett allowed 10 earned runs on 16 hits in 10 innings.

"He's not pleased with how things have finished the last two times out" manager Clint Hurdle said before the game. "He's a veteran guy. He knows what he needs to feel he knows what he needs to do."

Burnett started the Padres' frustration early in the evening when Yonder Alonso slammed his helmet after striking out in the first inning. Burnett didn't let a Padre on base until the third didn't let one score until the fourth and struck out six through the first five innings.

Burnett had not allowed a home run in eight starts since June 8 before Jedd Gyorko hit a 1-2 fastball out to left field in the fourth. His 14th home run of the season cut the Pirates' lead to 3-1.

In the third Burnett walked Alexi Amarista on four pitches to load the bases for Alonso. Burnett's 1-1 fastball was high but plate umpire Doug Eddings called it a strike. When Alonso swung through a curveball to strike out with the bases loaded to end the inning he let Eddings have it. Cedeno ushered Alonso to the dugout before he could get tossed and Padres manager Bud Black picked up the argument.

Burnett said he maintained his usual approach against Alonso.

"I usually don't change until I need to until they show me they're making an adjustment on me" Burnett said.