Morton pitches a beauty and Bucs win fifth straight
Charlie Morton has talked openly about his confidence issues on the mound due to a rough season. On Wednesday night, Morton pitched a gem that was sure to boost his confidence (as well as the Pirates) as they defeated the Cardinals 11-6.
Charlie picked up his first win since May 5, allowing two runs on four hits and struck out five through six innings.
“It really clicked for him tonight,” manager John Russell said. “Everything was working for him. When he’s on, he’s very tough to hit. He put it all together tonight. This is a good one for him to build off.”
Added Jones: “To see Charlie pitch like the way he did, that’s what he’s capable of doing.”
Morton’s ERA dropped to 8.11 and even got praise by one of the Cardinals best hitters.
“He’s one of those guys that has better stuff than his ERA,” Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday said. “I think he did a pretty good job with locating his pitches. He’s got a good curveball to put you away, if you don’t [hit] a fastball early in the count.”
The Bucs bats came alive and put 11 runs on the board –the most runs they have scored in a single game in September.
“It’s a huge morale booster, and it just shows what we can do,” Garrett Jones said. “We’re playing good baseball as a team.”
With the 11-6 victory over the Cardinals, the Pirates won their fifth straight –something that have not done since August of 2009.
“We know we can’t control having the worst record anymore,” Ronny Cedeno said. “We can just play the best we can. We’ve played real good baseball these last five days. We’re fighting. We’re pulling everything together.”
Kyle Lohse was pulled after pitching three innings and allowing six runs. With the five run lead the Pirates had, Morton was able to comfortable on the mound and work well with Chris Snyder.
“[I'm] not dwelling on the negatives, and [I'm] building from the positives and building from the bad things that have happened,” Morton said. “Knowing that I can pitch better than I was, that’s leading me to pitch better.”
Jose Tabata’s triple scored McCutchen for the first run, Bowker hit his second home run as a Pirate and finished 3-for-3 with two RBI on the night.
Alvarez also did some damage against the Red Birds driving in four runs with a double and a homerun.
“[Alvarez is] that kind of player, Russell said. “He can do some damage quickly. He’s had his struggles, but he’s still grown and matured a lot this year.”
The Pirates starting lineup 1-8 (excluding Charlie Morton) all contributed to at least one hit.
“It was kind of our game from the first few innings on,” Russell said. “It was good to see the energy and the life that players had. They’re really battling right now, and want to finish strong.”