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Morton pitches Bucs over Astros

Charlie Morton took a shutout into the eighth inning, Lyle Overbay homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the fourth time in six games, 6-1 over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

Morton upped his record to 4-1 with 7 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, two walks and one run, and left to an ovation from the 30,000-plus in attendance. He lost his shutout in the eighth, when he allowed three of his seven hits. Carlos Lee’s two-out single drove in Michael Bourn to put Houston on the board.

The Astros had only two flyball outs against Morton.

“He threw a lot of first-pitch strikes, got a lot of quick contact and an ocean full of groundballs,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He had a very good sinker, was repeating his delivery and was living in the strike zone. He mixed in his breaking ball to keep them honest and his four-seamer to change eye levels.”

The Pirates took a  lead in the second inning and never relinquished it.

Lyle Overbay, signed as a free agent in the offseason to take advantage of the short right-field porch at PNC Park, finally did so, hitting his first home run at home this season. He drove a 1-2 pitch from Houston’s Bud Norris deep into the second tier in right field. Andrew McCutchen gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead when he drove in Chris Snyder and Ronny Cedeno with a two-run double later in the inning.

The Pirates added three in the eighth off of Jose Valdez and Enerio Del Rosario, highlighted by Brandon Wood’s two-run double. Wood has reached base safely in eight of his first nine games with Pittsburgh.

The Pirates can take their third consecutive series—and reach the .500 mark for the season—with a win on Sunday. Houston sends lefty J.A. Happ (2-4, 6.23 ERA) against righthander James McDonald (2-2, 6.75 ERA) for the Bucs.

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