Charlie Morton picked up his fourth win of 2011 by going 7-2/3 innings against Houston. The Pirates offense showed some signs of life with to multi-run outbursts.
The fun started in the second when Lyle Overbay drilled a lead off homer against Bud Norris. Chris Snyder walked and Ronny Cedeno singled him to second. Norris sandwiched whiffs of Brandon Wood and Morton in there to get down as Andrew McCutchen stepped up. He delivered a clutch two out double that scored both runners, pushing the Pirates to a 3-0 advantage.
Houston didn’t have an inning with multiple hits until the seventh inning and they finally managed to get on board. Brian Bogusevic singled leading off. He was erased on a fielder’s choice force grounder from Michael Bourn. After Morton retired Matt Downs, Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee singled in succession to knock in Bourn, make the score 3-1 and send Morton packing. Jose Veras relieved and got the final out in the form of Brett Wallace.
The Pirates got that run back plus two more in the bottom of the seventh. The bases were loaded with two outs. Jose Valdez, in relief of Norris, issued a walk to Jose Tabata, yielded a single to Neil Walker and walked Chris Snyder. Valdez was pulled for Enerio Del Rosario. Brandon Wood’s double scored two runs. Del Rosario uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Snyder to score from third with the sixth and final run of the game.
Daniel McCutchen pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the win. Morton went 7-2/3 and allowed just the one run. He gave up six singles, a double and a walk. He struck out five. Norris was charged with three runs in seven innings. He whiffed nine and gave up seven hits and two walks.
D. McCutchen remains unscored upon.
Morton and his four wins.
A. McCutchen had two hits
Bucs whiffed ten times.
Other than his homer, Overbay whiffed three times.
With a win on Sunday, the Pirates will be back to .500.