Brewers Batter Bucs' Charlie Morton on His Return to Majors

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE -- A three-month hiatus in the minor leagues didn't seem to do much for Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton.

The Milwaukee Brewers rocked Morton for eight runs in 3 1/3 innings Sunday and cruised to an 8-4 victory. The blowout gave the Brewers their third series sweep of the Pirates this season.

Pirates reliever Evan Meek was struck by a line drive in the eighth inning and left the field with an injured right hand.

With two outs, Ryan Braun hit a smash up the middle. Meek reacted by drawing his arms toward his chest.

X-rays taken at Miller Park on his pinky finger were negative, but Meek is expected to be out of action for a few days.

Morton became the fifth Pirates pitcher to lose 10 games this season -- the first time that's happened since 1954. That year, the Pirates went 53-101, their third straight 100-loss season, and finished in eighth place.

Morton (1-10) allowed nine hits, including Ryan Braun's two-run homer, walked one and hit one batter. His ERA in 11 starts this season zoomed to 10.03.

It was Morton's first start in the majors since May 27. He went on the disabled list due to what the team called "shoulder fatigue," then made 14 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis.

Morton put up decent numbers -- 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA -- with Indy and was recalled to replace Ross Ohlendorf, who's out with a strained back muscle.

"He's been building and working on a lot of things down there (at Indy) to get himself mentally and physically ready," manager John Russell said before the game. …