Morton struggles, Bucs shutout 6-0 again
The Florida Marlins shutout the Pirates, 6-0 for the second straight night at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla. On Wednesday. It marked the first time this season the Pirates have lost two in a row on the road.
The Bucs combined for just five hits and have not scored in 18 innings.
Manager Clint Hurdle told David Villavicencio of MLB.com, “You’ve got to do things to put yourself in a position to have success. We haven’t scored a run in 18 innings, and they’ve gotten on top of us early in both games.”
Coming off a compete game five hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, Right-hander Charlie Morton struggled over five innings of work (91 pitches). He allowed six runs on 10 hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
With two outs in the 2nd inning, Morton allowed back-to-back singles to John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio and a four pitch walk to pitcher Ricky Nolasco to load the bases.
Chris Coghlan hit a slow grounder to second baseman Neil Walker but double-clutched, not knowing who was covering the bag. By the time he threw to first, Coghlan was safe and two-runs scored.
Neil Walker told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “It was a mayhem-type play. It’s a shame because it was not hard-hit. Just some miscommunication. I should’ve just thrown the ball and assumed someone was going to catch it.”
Hurdle told David Villavicencio of MLB.com, “That put us in a bad situation, and the play that followed is the one that got us. That really dug the hole deeper.”
Jose Tabata, who was playing in center field in place of Andrew McCutchen, booted the ball hit by Omar Infante, allowing Nolasco to score.
Hanley Ramirez singled to right field to tack on another run and take a 4-0 lead.
Things didn’t get better for Morton in the 3rd inning. With Gregg Dobbs and Mike Stanton (who drew a walk) on second and third, Bonifacio hit a RBI single. Coghlan singled to right, giving the Marlins a 6-0 lead.
Morton told David Villavicencio of MLB.com, “They were just hitting my sinker. It wasn’t sinking. It wasn’t as effective as it has been and I didn’t make the adjustment. Instead of maybe mixing it up more I tried to force the issue and just throw sinkers.”
Nolasco held the Pirates to just four hits –the lone extra-base hit coming off the bat of pitcher Charlie Morton– over seven innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.
The Pirates were shutout, 6-0, for the second straight game. It also marked the first time this season the Bucs lost back-to-back games on the road.
The Pirates have struck out 22 times in the past 18 innings and have not scored a run over that span.