Morton, Alvarez Lead Pirates Over Phillies In Final Game Of Spring

By Zane Heiple

Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP

The Pittsburgh Pirates wrapped up a short exhibition series with their cross state rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, with a 4-1 win. 
Charlie Morton had a great final tuneup before he sees regular season action on Sunday.  His final line was five innings pitched, one hit, zero earned runs, with two walks and two strikeouts.  If his March stats carry over to the regular season, this could be a break out year for Charlie.
Pedro Alvarez struck first for the Buccos to give them a 2-0 lead in the second inning.  He hit a two-run blast that scored Lyle Overbay off of Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels. 
Philadelphia cut the lead in half in the bottom part of the inning when Ben Francisco scored on a Wilson Valdez ground out.  Francisco reached base on an Alvarez throwing error.
Mike Crotta, Chris Resop, Joel Hanrahan, and Jared Hughes pitched scoreless innings over the final four frames.  Crotta struck out one, Hanrahan gave up one hit, and Hughes walked one batter.
In the sixth inning, Steve Pearce doubled off pitcher Joe Blanton and then scored two batters later on a Jordy Mercer single to centerfield. 
The Pirates’ fourth and final run of the night came on a John Bowker sacrifice fly to leftfielder Raul Ibanez that scored Josh Rodriguez.  The run was charged to Phillies’ pitcher Juan Perez.
Tonight’s final meant that the next time the Pirates take the field, it will be the season opener against the Chicago Cubs on Friday at 2:20pm.  Kevin Correia will start for the Pirates and the Cubs will send Ryan Dempster to the hill.  Be sure to check back to Fans From The Stands after the game for a complete recap.
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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