Morton throws complete game, Pirates beat Reds, 6-1
Charlie Morton was dominant on Friday night at Great American Ballpark in the 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
With two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, Morton was just one out away from picking up his second career complete game shutout.
That was until Jay Bruce took a 1-1 fastball to center field for a solo home run. Morton got the next batter, Miguel Cairo, to fly out to right field to end the game.
Morton threw 110 pitches, 81 for strikes and shined over nine innings holding the Reds to just the one run on five hits. Morton struck out three and walked two batters.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “There’s a lot of road in front of us, but he has been a focused young man from the first game that he pitched in Spring Training until now. Any time he doubts himself, all he needs to do is take a tape and look at this ballgame.”
Neil Walker added, “I’m no pitching coach, but watching him today from second base and seeing him continue to do the same thing over and over again and being successful doing it, that just tells you how good his stuff really is. I know this was a great, great confidence day for him, too.”
Morton picked up his second win of the season (three starts) and his ERA is 1.64.
Perhaps it was the shuffling of the Pirates lineup that got the bats swinging? Andrew McCutchen batted leadoff, followed by Jose Tabata second, Lyle Overbay third, Neil Walker fourth and Pedro Alvarez fifth. The Pirates hit two-home runs, four doubles and Tabata had a four hit night –the first of his career. He also swiped his seventh bag of the season (He has only be caught once this year).
The Bucs combined for six runs on 14 hits in the 6-1 win over the Reds. The victory snapped the four-game losing streak.
Neil Walker told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I think we got into a spot there near the end of the [last] series where we were pressing and we thought we had to win. That makes it tough when you’re going up there and gripping the bat a little tighter. We definitely relaxed today and we stuck with our game plan.”
Garrett Jones hit a solo-home run off of Bronson Arroyo to right field in the 2nd inning to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates tacked on another run in the 3rd. Lyle Overbay hit a single and Pedro Alvarez doubled before Jones was intentionally walked with the bases loaded. Chris Snyder hit a RBI single, giving the Bucs a two run lead.
Jose Tabata doubled in the 4th inning. Overbay, a career .409 hitter against the Reds, hit a singled to drive in Tabata. Neil Walker followed with a two-run homer to right field, putting the Bucs up, 5-0.
Bronson Arroyo was chased from the game after four innings. He allowed five runs on nine hits, throwing 92 pitches.
The Pirates tacked on a sixth run in the 9th when Snyder singled home Walker.
The Reds lone run came off the homer given up with two outs in the 9th. They combined for just five hits off of Morton.
The Pirates improve to 5-2 on the road this season.