Charlie Morton after posting a 5.54 ERA in June and a 5.04 ERA July, started August off on the right foot. Morton threw seven shutout innings, leading the Pirates to a 3-0 shutout win over the Reds on Sunday afternoon.
Morton earning his 7th win of the season, won for the first time since June 27th.
Morton allowed 5 hits and no runs, striking out a season-high 7 batters and walking none. His stuff was in top form and a key for Morton was the start he got off to, needing just six pitches to get through the first inning and he got a rhythm there and set a tone. Morton’s curveball might have been the best it’s been all season.
“Big step forward,” Hurdle told reporters of Morton’s outing.
MORE PLAYER NOTES
— Starling Marte (.288 – 13 HR – 56 RBI) got the Pirates on the board in the third, with a 2-run double scoring Sean Rodriguez and Gregory Polanco. Marte was 1-4 with a double, 2 RBI.
— Neil Walker (.272 – 10 HR – 42 RBI) hit a solo home run in the 4th and went 1-4 in the win.
— The Pirates managed just three hits in the win
— In the eighth inning tempers flared between the two teams. Andrew McCutchen (.289 – 15 HR – 66 RBI) was plunked by Pedro Villarreal and the Pirates responded with Tony Watson hitting Marlon Byrd in the elbow in the bottom of the 8th. Both benches and bullpens went onto the field. Sean Rodriguez would be ejected.
— In the ninth Mark Melancon (1.29 ERA, 33 SV) would be immediately ejected after pitching inside and hitting Tucker Barnhart.
— Joakim Soria (2.74 ERA, 24 SV) earned his 1st save as a Pirate getting the final two outs in the ninth. Soria got Suárez to line out and DeJesus to groundout to second to end the game.