BRADENTON, Fla. -- A.J. Burnett has never been much of a Spring Training performer.
He entered Saturday's Grapefruit League start against the Pirates at McKechnie Field with an 8-12 record and a 5.61 ERA in 33 appearances (32 starts) from 2006-14. That included a 0-2 record with a 7.36 ERA in four starts last spring.
He allowed seven hits, two runs, six walks and struck out two in 5 1/3 innings in Saturday's 5-3 loss. He has a 7.53 ERA in four spring starts.
"Everybody's different," Burnett said. "You get under the lights, it's different. ... The hook is inconsistent right now, but that always comes. I'm not worried about that. The more I throw it, the more I get out there, I'm going to find that release point. I think today was big today to throw to Chooch [Carlos Ruiz] again, get him behind the plate. We haven't worked since my first two innings in camp, so it was good for him to see what I like to do and know what he expects."
Burnett, who has 3.41 ERA in 61 regular-season starts the past two years, starts the second game of the regular season April 1 in Texas.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.