Neil Walker (.263 – 10 HR – 44 RBI) hit a three-run homer, Charlie Morton (7-3, 3.00 ERA) pitched seven strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates (80-57) beat Milwaukee 5-2 Monday to retake the NL Central lead.
The Pirates moved one game of the St. Louis Cardinals (79-58), which lost earlier in the day to the Cincinnati Reds (77-61).
Walker broke it open with his homer in the seventh that made it 5-1. Jose Tabata (.280 – 4 HR – 23 RBI) added three hits, including a pair of run-scoring singles.
Morton gave up seven hits and one earned run. He walked two and struck out six while winning his fourth straight decision. Morton improved to 6-1 since the All-Star break.
Coming back from Tommy John surgery, Morton is starting to become quite a storyline in the second half of this season.
“Charlie has gotten to a very good place,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He was efficient but he had to work today except for the sixth, when he blew them away.”
Mark Melancon (10 SV, 0.88 ERA) pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.