Burnett is scheduled to toe the rubber in Saturday night's matchup against Miami at PNC Park, where he is undefeated in nine starts this season, going 6-0 with a 2.10 ERA. He last faced his former team in 2009, when he was with the Yankees, and took a loss in a 2-1 Marlins win.
Burnett is looking to bounce back from his loss on Sunday -- his first loss in 13 outings -- but doing so will be no easy task against a Marlins team that leads the Majors in stolen bases, with 92 after stealing four in Friday's series opener.
The Pirates have allowed teams to swipe 76 bags, and Burnett has been the easiest for opponents to run on, giving up 20 steals in as many attempts this year.
"Once [the Marlins] get on, they go," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "The solution is to keep the guys who can run off the bases. The one thing we've talked about is [keeping] the pitchers committed to the batter, and what's backed up that commitment is the number of people getting steals who've scored. That hasn't become a rock in our shoe."
The Marlins will turn to right-hander Carlos Zambrano as they look to snap a three-game skid. Zambrano is no stranger to the Pirates or PNC Park. He is 13-8 with a 3.95 ERA in 32 career appearances against Pittsburgh, including an 8-1 record with a 3.94 ERA in 16 outings -- 14 starts -- at PNC Park.
Zambrano ended a personal streak of four straight losses his last time out. And while Burnett and the Pirates will try to corral the Marlins on the basepaths, Zambrano will have to get by a Pirates offense that paces the National League with 26 home runs in July, led by All-Star Andrew McCutchen's seven this month.
"Too bad we've got to face him," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said of McCutchen. "But that's fun to watch. I love good players. When players play the game right, and have success, there's nothing better than that. I like to watch people play good against us. That's the competition."
Marlins: Hanley visits hospital with infected hand
Third baseman Hanley Ramirez spent time in the hospital on Friday with an infection in his right hand -- the same hand that required stitches just before the All-Star break when he hit a cooling fan in the visitors' dugout at Busch Stadium.
The infection and swelling were a result of Ramirez not taking the antibiotics prescribed to him following the incident. Although the infection kept Ramirez out of the lineup on Friday, he did enter the game as a pinch-runner in the ninth.
"Hopefully, he can play [on Saturday]," Guillen said. "It was pretty nasty. I thought something bit him."
Pirates: Club making sure Marte is ready
Outfielder Starling Marte, the No. 3 prospect in Pittsburgh's system, is having his at-bats with Triple-A Indianapolis carefully logged by the Pirates, who want to make sure he gets enough of them before he makes his Major League debut.
Entering Friday, he had 400 plate appearances with the Indians.
"We're not looking at a specific number of at-bats," Hurdle said. "But with experience [in Triple-A] comes more stability when they get here. Less experience, more challenges go with it."
Hurdle went on to say that the Pirates aren't afraid to promote Marte during a pennant race.
Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to eight games thanks to a leadoff home run in Friday's series opener. It was Reyes' first leadoff home run with the Marlins and the 17th of his career.
Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez hit his third home run in four games on Friday. Five of his last seven hits have been roundtrippers.