Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 4, Marlins 2 Morton Sparks Victory Hits Tying Single, Pitches 7 Strong Innings; Pirates Climb to 25 over .500

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 4, Marlins 2 Morton Sparks Victory Hits Tying Single, Pitches 7 Strong Innings; Pirates Climb to 25 over .500

Article excerpt

It was a wet and wild night Wednesday at PNC Park.

The wet part delayed the start of the game 36 minutes. The wild part let the Pirates slip away with a win.

Two fifth-inning wild pitches let the Pirates turn a deficit into a lead they never surrendered as they sank the Miami Marlins, 4-2.

The victory was the fourth in a row for the Pirates (69-44), who are 8-2 in their past 10 games. The Marlins (43-69) have lost four consecutive games.

Pirates starter Charlie Morton rebounded from two rough outings and recovered from early troubles to shut down the Marlins.

He allowed two earned runs and six hits over seven innings to earn his fourth victory this season.

Morton did what he does best: get ground balls. Of the 21 outs the sinkerballer recorded, 14 came from ground balls. Five were strikeouts, one was a line out and one a caught stealing.

Ground balls have accounted for 64.7 percent of all balls hit in play against Morton this season, the highest percentage of his career. And hitters are putting fewer balls in play against Morton than at any point in his career, another sign of his improvement as a pitcher.

Morton retired the final 11 batters he faced and threw 59 of his 86 pitches for strikes.

Reliever Tony Watson pitched a perfect eighth, striking out one to record his 15th hold this season. It was the second consecutive scoreless outing for Watson, who was roughed up for two earned runs in 1/3 of an inning over the weekend against the Colorado Rockies.

Mark Melancon picked up his seventh save this season and his fifth since closer Jason Grilli went on the disabled list with a flexor strain.

Miami starter Tom Koehler was the loser after allowing three earned runs and four hits in five innings. He struck out eight and walked one. His lack of control, however, doomed him in the fifth. …

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