Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Offense Breaks out to Support Morton Pirates 10, Padres 3

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Offense Breaks out to Support Morton Pirates 10, Padres 3

Article excerpt

SAN DIEGO -- It took the Pirates a few cracks at it, but they found a way to sustain some traction on offense Monday night when they loaded the bases for a fourth time.

Strong offensively all game, the Pirates linked some hits together for a three-run seventh inning that sent them to a 10-3 win against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The Pirates won for the fourth time in five games after taking three of four from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Charlie Morton held the Padres hitless through four, but walked two batters, hit two more and committed an error that allowed a fifth batter to reach base.

The Padres saved their hits for the fifth, which they entered trailing, 3-0, before stringing together three hits to score two runs. Alexi Amarista singled and scored on Everth Cabrera's double to the gap in left-center field. Seth Smith's RBI single reduced the Pirates' lead to 3-2.

Morton (2-7) allowed two runs on three hits. He walked three and hit three batters, but tied a career high with nine strikeouts.

Neil Walker drove in an insurance run in the sixth to increase the Pirates' lead to 4-2, but Russell Martin struck out looking with the bases loaded to end the inning.

That was a theme for the Pirates. After they scored two runs in the third, Pedro Alvarez struck out with the bases loaded, and Andrew McCutchen grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases full in the fourth.

In the seventh, that changed. Harrison singled with the bases loaded to drive one run in and Walker doubled to score two more.

Entering the start, Morton led major league starters in hard-hit average against, according to ESPN Stats and Information. At-bats against Morton ended with a well-struck ball only 9.3 percent of the time.

"When you look to center a ball, you're looking to hit a ball on the barrel, so there comes a point in time when you get your swing off," manager Clint Hurdle said before the game. …

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