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Pirates take care of business against Brewers, snap three-game skid with 7-1 victory

Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer in his Pirates debut, Josh Harrison and Gaby Sanchez each had three hits and Charlie Morton didn’t allow an earned run in 6 2/3 innings as the Pirates beat Milwaukee 7-1 Wednesday night at PNC Park.

Marlon Byrd is excited, to say the least, about coming to Pittsburgh and being part of a team in a heated pennant race late in the season.

He helped out his own cause by launching a three-run homer in seventh inning, giving the Pirates a big cushion en-route to a 7-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday night at PNC Park.

“You want to feel accepted,” Byrd said. “I felt accepted all day long.”

Accepted he was. The Bucs’ crowd gave Byrd a standing ovation after a 14-pitch at-bat his second time up, even if it did end in a strikeout.

“That was amazing,” Byrd added. “I was upset with myself that I didn’t finish the at-bat but to hear the fans cheering, that was a beautiful thing.”

Byrd wasn’t the only contributor on Wednesday night. The entire Bucco offense gave starter Charlie Morton run support.

Josh Harrison scored three times—once for each time he was on base. Jordy Mercer and Andrew McCutchen had two hits a piece and each drove in a run. Gaby Sanchez had three hits and an RBI. Offense came from everywhere throughout the line-up.

Morton was consistent once again for the Bucs on the mound.

“You see confidence, really good rhythm and tempo on the mound,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “His curveball got better as the night went on, and it’s been a productive pitch for him.”

“He’s just really working well, really efficient,” Hurdle added.

Morton threw six and two-thirds innings, gave up five hits and only one run while striking out two. The Pirates’ bullpen came in and pitched scoreless innings the remainder of the game courtesy of Vin Mazzaro and Jared Hughes.

“Getting better feel for the zone, pitching again and just getting more comfortable out there,” Morton said of his consistent starts this season. “I think I’ve thrown the ball well.”

Morton worked his way out of trouble in the first inning, and everything fell into place from there as the Pirates’ offense exploded for seven runs throughout the night.

McCutchen drove in Josh Harrison to give the Bucs an early 1-0 lead in the first inning with a single to left.

The Pirates added to their lead in the fourth and fifth innings with RBI singles from Gaby Sanchez and Harrison and a double by Jordy Mercer, giving the Bucs a 4-0 lead before the Brewers got one back in the seventh.

Byrd hit his three-run homer in the seventh on the first pitch he saw from Brewers reliever Burke Badenhop to put the Pirates up 7-1.

“I’m just going to take it all in, I’m with the Pittsburgh Pirates, man, and fighting to get to the playoffs,” Byrd said.

“I just looked around and saw the fans and started smiling. I looked down at the uniform and everything. Again, just taking it all in. I’m happy to be here.”

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