It is possible that we are finally getting a glimpse of the Charlie Morton we had hoped to see all year long. Morton has dropped his ERA by 1.50 over his last four starts.
But this effort was for naught as Jorge Sosa and the Marlins bullpen shut out the Pirates on the eve of the final day of the season.
Morton, though, provided another sign of life. He allowed just two runs and both came in the first inning. Osvaldo Martinez singled. Logan Morrison doubled. After Dan Uggla struck out, Gaby Sanchez was walked. Mike Stanton delivered an RBI single and Chad Tracy lofted a sac fly to make it 2-0.
The Pirates best chance to score came in the second inning. The Pirates put runners on second and third with one out thanks to a John Bowker single and a Ronny Cedeno double. Chris Snyder drew an IBB to bring up Morton. He whiffed and Andrew McCutchen flied out to end the inning.
With Sosa pitching mostly in relief this year, he was pulled after four innings and 70 pitches. He gave way to Brian Sanches who picked up the win with two hitless innings. Clay Hensley tossed the ninth for the save. Hensley whiffed Ryan Doumit with two outs and runners on second and third to end the game.
Morton gave up just four hits in six innings. He whiffed nine and gave a free pass to one. Sosa allowed five hits in four innings. He struck out one and walked two.
Happy with Morton.
Bowker and Cedeno each had two hits.
Morton falls to 2-2 against the Fish. This was the first time Sosa started against the Pirates in nine career appearances. He remains 2-0.
Morton’s nine whiffs established a career high.
The Pirates were blanked for the 15th time in 2010.
This was the 16th time this year that Pirate pitchers struck out ten or more opponents.
Hitting streaks from Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez were snapped.