BRADENTON, Fla. — Right-hander Charlie Morton made his Grapefruit League debut against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at McKechnie Field. Although scattering four hits over his outing, Morton was able to keep the Phillies from scoring in his two scoreless frames with two strikeouts.
“It’s the next phase of his comeback to pitch plan,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “The training wheels are off, he faced live hitters. Got out of a couple innings. Threw about all his pitches. Very good to see him out there today.”
The Pirates starters have now combined to toss 10.0 scoreless innings over the last four games and have been charged with just one earned run in their last 19.2 innings.
The bats struggled against the Phillies right-hander Vance Worley in the Pirates 4-1 loss, who tossed four perfect innings, striking out eight of the 12 batters he faced.
“He threw four pitches for strikes,” Hurdle said. “He had pinpoint fastball command. He dotted the glove. You would like to see us do more with it, but he made his pitches. That’s about it. He made good pitches today. He was very aggressive, threw a lot of strikes, changed speeds very well.”
After having six straight games with 10 or more hits, the bats have fizzled, combing for just six hits over their past two games combined.
However, Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle isn’t worried.
“I didn’t get too giggly when we had the six consecutive games of 10 straight hits,” he said. “It is what it is. You never like to get shut down like we have been, but we’re going to keep working.”
The Phillies took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, but it was broken up when outfielder Gorkys Hernandez hit an infield single. Hernandez quickly swiped second base, advanced to third on a ground out by Yamaico Navarro and scored as Casey McGehee reached first on a fielding error by shortstop Michael Martine.
- Relief: Chris Resop: 2IP, H, R, K, HR; Tony Watson: IP, H, R; Rudy Owens: IP, 0H; Ryota Igarashi: 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2K; Juan Cruz: IP, BB, K
*Tuesday the Bucs have an off day.
Wednesday Game Info:
- The Pirates play the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota at 1:05. Right-hander James McDonald is scheduled to start for the Pirates against Baltimore’s righty Jake Arietta.
- Following McDonald in relief are: Joel Hanrahan, Jason Grilli, Shairon Martis, Evan Meek and Jared Hughes.