Morton, McCutchen, lift Bucs to 4-3 victory over Cardinals
A solid pitching performance by Charlie Morton and a two-run home run by Andrew McCutchen lifted the Bucs 4-3 over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Monday night.
Morton proved his spring stats were not a fluke as he limited the Cardinals to just one run on three hits over six innings (97 pitches) with five walks and two strikeouts.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “He did everything you could have hoped he would have done. He pitched an outstanding ball game.”
While his walk rate was rather high, what was most impressive was the fact that he was able to work his way out of several jams.
In the bottom of the 4th, after walking Lance Berkman and Allen Craig back-to-back, Morton got Yadier Molina to ground out to escape the inning without a run scoring.
Morton told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I’m pitching more to contact. I know that sounds weird; I walked five guys. But I want him to hit it. I wanted to throw a good sinker and have him hit it. He did, and we got out of it.”
Down 1-0 in the 6th, the Pirates scored four runs off of right-hander Kyle Lohse. Ronny Cedeno lead off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Charlie Morton. Jose Tabata drew a seven pitch walk and Neil Walker hit a two-run double to take a 2-1 lead. With those two runs, Walker has a National League leading seven RBI.
In the next at-bat McCutchen, who was back in the lineup after missing Sunday with ‘upper body soreness’, hit a two-run home run to give the Pirates a 4-1 lead.
Evan Meek’s early season struggles continued as he allowed two singles, a walk, and two earned runs in the 8th.
Joel Hanrahan picked up a four out save, striking out two. Hanrahan’s three saves lead the majors.
The Pirates are now 3-1 on the season. The Cardinals fall to 1-3.