PITTSBURGH -- The Seattle Mariners believe Jesus Montero will blossom into a cornerstone player.
Perhaps he took a small step in that direction Wednesday as his seventh-inning home run off Pittsburgh ace A.J. Burnett lifted the Mariners and Felix Hernandez to a 2-1 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park.
That was one of only two hits allowed by Burnett (3-3) in seven innings. However, the Mariners were able eke out two runs off Burnett, who struck out nine and walked four while having his three-game winning streak snapped.
While Seattle didn't score many runs, it was enough for Hernandez (5-2) to win his fourth straight start. He gave up one run and six hits in eight innings to go with one walk and five strikeouts.
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in as many opportunities.
Endy Chavez had two of Seattle's three hits with singles off Burnett in the fifth and Bryan Morris in the ninth. Chavez, a reserve outfielder, is 14 for 43 (.326) in his last 12 games.
The Pirates' Starling Marte also had two hits, running his hitting streak to seven games. He is 11 for 28 (.393) during the streak.
Montero's home run, a one-out shot to center field, snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Mariners their eighth win in the last 12 games.
Seattle (16-19) acquired the 23-year-old switch-hitting catcher from the New York Yankees in the 2011-12 offseason in a much-ballyhooed trade for young right-hander Michael Pindea. However, Montero is hitting just .205 with three home runs in 22 games this season after batting .260 with 15 homers as a rookie last year.
The Pirates (18-15), who lost for the third time in their last four games, got their run off Hernandez in the first inning when Marte led off with a double and scored on Andrew McCutchen's one-out single.
The Mariners countered with a run in the fourth when Michael Saunders, who drew the second of his three walks, scored on a two-out wild pitch by Burnett.
NOTES: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin (sore neck) missed his second straight game and is considered day to day. ... Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez was named the Pirates' starter for Sunday's game against the Mets in New York after pitching five scoreless for the win on Tuesday night against Seattle as an emergency starter for righty James McDonald (right shoulder discomfort), who was placed on the disabled list. ... Pittsburgh recalled right-handed Duke Welker from Triple-A Indianapolis to get back to a 12-man pitching staff and optioned infielder/outfielder Josh Harrison to the same club. ... Kendrys Morales, normally the Mariners' designated hitter, got his fifth start of the season at first base in place of Justin Smoak as the DH is not used in interleague games at National League parks. ... The Pirates open a four-game series on Thursday against the Mets in New York with left-hander Jeff Locke (3-1, 3.21) facing Dillon Gee (2-4, 6.16). ... Seattle is off Thursday before opening a three-game home series on Friday night as Hisashi Iwakuma (3-1, 1.61) pitches against Dan Straily (1-0, 5.94).