Morton Has Another Strong Start, Pirates Even Series With Astros

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
The Pirates entered tonight’s game against the Astros two games under the .500 mark.  Upon returning home after another successful road trip, the Buccos dropped a close game last night to Houston, meaning they needed a victory this evening to still have a chance of taking the series this weekend. 
One of the key traits of the Pirates’ season so far has been their ability to bounce back from a loss the day before.  That is exactly what they were able to do tonight, as Charlie Morton pitched another gem of a game, and the offense came alive in key situations, giving the Bucs a 6-1 victory at PNC Park.
Morton was in control again tonight, as he has been for the majority of the season thus far.  He pitched 7.2 innings, giving up one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out five Astros.  It was his fourth victory of the season, as he lowered his ERA to a stingy 3.13.
Jose Veras and Daniel McCutchen finished off the game for the Pirates, who improved to 16-17 on the season.
The Pirates struck in the second inning on Lyle Overbay’s monster solo homerun to deep right field.  After Chris Snyder and Ronny Cedeno each reached base, Andrew McCutchen lazered a double to deep left center, scoring both and giving the Bucs a 3-0 lead.  Cutch went 2-4 on the day with two RBI, raising his batting average to .227.
After Houston cut the lead to 3-1 in the eighth, the Pirates responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning.  Brandon Wood’s double into the left field corner scored Jose Tabata and Neil Walker.  Later, Snyder scored again on a wild pitch, giving the Bucs the 6-1 lead. 
This was a big win for the Pirates.  As we’ve discussed all season long thus far, the Bucs are not a team who are going to go on a 10 game winning streak and make up ground in the standings or on their record.  They need to keep that .500 mark within shouting distance, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.  The Pirates now have the chance to take the series from the Astros tomorrow afternoon.
James McDonald will get the start for the Buccos tomorrow.  After a rough start to the season, he has put together several strong performances in the last couple weeks.  Hopefully that trend will continue, and the Pirates can take the series before welcoming in the Los Angeles Dodgers for a four-game series on Monday.
Record Vs. Astros: 1-1
Record Vs. N.L. Central: 8-6
Record At Home: 5-9
Overall Record: 16-17
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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