Morton sharp Alvarez homers, Pirates beat Phillies 4-1
With the help of Charlie Morton’s solid start and Pedro Alvarez’s two-run homer, the Pirates defeated the Phillies 4-1 at Citizen Bank Park for the final game of the spring.
Morton allowed just one run (none earned) on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings on Wednesday. Morton’s spring ERA was just 2.62. Although, his great spring stats will be washed away by Friday for opening day, Morton’s confidence will follow him into the regular season.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “He’s pitched well all spring. He’s done a good job all spring. Today he was just efficient. The sinker’s there, the breaking ball was there, the change-up was there at times. But he’s kept the ball down as well as anybody. Pitched to contact as well as anybody. The thing I’m probably most impressed with Charlie is the fact that even though it’s spring, you add the walks and you add the hits and it’s still less than the innings that he’s pitched this spring, which gets your attention.”
Over 24 innings this spring, Morton allowed just 15 hits with six walks.
The Phillies threatened in the 1st inning, with two on and just one out but Morton successfully got out of trouble with a strikeout to Ryan Howard and a fly out to Raul Ibanez.
First baseman Lyle Overbay hit his fourth double of the spring in the 2nd inning. Pedro Alvarez crushed a 89 mph fastball from Cole Hamels to take a 2-0 lead.
Ben Francisco reached second on a two base throwing error by third baseman Alvarez. He then scored on a ground out by Wilson Valdez to cut the lead to 2-1.
Steve Pearce doubled and scored the third run for the Pirates as he was knocked in by minor leaguer Jordy Mercer in the 6th.
The Pirates tacked the fourth and final run in the 9th after outfielder John Bowker hit a sac fly to score Josh Rodriguez.
- The Pirates out hit the Phillies 12-2.
- Steve Pearce hit his sixth double of the spring in the 6th inning.
- The Pirates will kick off the 2011 season by facing the Chicago Cubs for a three game series at Wrigley field, starting on Friday, April 1st at 2:20 ET.
Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs against Ryan Dempster.