Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Pirates shut out Reds 4-0

Pirates shut out Reds 4-0

Pedro Alvarez had a two-run single in a three-run first inning, Charlie Morton shut down the Reds over 5-plus and the bullpen did the rest as the Bucs blanked Cincinnati 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Morton fared much better in his second start coming off of Tommy John surgery than his first as the Pirates handed Mat Latos his first regular season loss in the process.  Latos hadn’t lost a regular season game since August 24 of last year, a span of 21 starts.

Five days after Morton was the loser in a 10-0 shellacking at the hands of the Giants, his fortunes were reversed.  Morton was remarkably efficient, pitching into the sixth inning and surrendering only three singles and no runs on 61 pitches. The bullpen continued their dominance, as Tony Watson, Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli surrendered only a lone hit between them and struck out eight over the final 3.2 innings to secure Pittsburgh’s league-leading 12th shutout.

However, the Pirates offense struggled after their three-run first, registering 17 strikeouts and only four hits over the course of the game. Starling Marte led off the game with a triple and scored on Russell Martin’s infield single. After an Andrew McCutchen strikeout and consecutive walks to Garret Jones and Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez lifted a long single into the left field corner that scored two to put the Bucs up 3-0 early.

The bottom half of the inning took an interesting turn as Morton plunked Cincinnati leadoff hitter Shin-soo Choo—the major’s runaway HBP leader—in the knee on his first pitch of the game, drawing the ire of the Reds’ dugout. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have been trading hit batsman since a game last August and in last nights’ game, McCutchen was hit in the upper shoulder by Mike Leake and Walker was knocked to the dirt by a triple digit heater near his face by Aroldis Chapman. Morton was able to get Zach Cozart to ground into a double play immediately after he hit Choo, and the rest of the game was eventless.

Latos took exception most of all, screaming at Morton from the dugout and then expressing his ire in the locker room post game according to the Associated Press.

“It’s time somebody stepped up and did something about the team that’s hit more guys in the league than anybody,” Latos said.  “I got fined for hitting Neil Walker (in last Saturday’s contest), but you’ve got a team drilling guys over and over again. It’s time for the league to step up and end it. That fired me up.”

PiratesThe Pirates added an insurance run in the seventh when Marte singled home Jordy Mercer, who has seemingly wrested the starting shortstop position from Clint Barmes over the past few weeks.

The third game of the four-game series with take place Wednesday night, as Jeff Locke—fourth in the National League with a 2.10 earned run average—takes the hill for the Pirates against Bronson Arroyo.  First pitch is set for 7:10.

Previous articleOn the Dugout Steps with Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke
Next articleBlackhawks even Stanley Cup Finals 2-2