Charlie Morton was the Pirates' stopper Wednesday night, getting tons of grounders as usual and striking out five batters en route to a five-hit, complete-game shutout. It was his second straight complete game against the Reds. Morton had a ton of very easy innings and only threw around 100 pitches on his way to victory. Morton now has a 2.62 ERA on the season.
Even better, the Pirates' offense came alive. Well, sort of. It only managed eight hits and two walks. But two of those hits were big homers by Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen on mistake pitches by Bronson Arroyo. The Alvarez homer, his second of the year, came with two men on in the fourth. Also, Ronny Cedeno had a single and a double, giving him three straight multi-hit games and a six-game hitting streak.
It's really nice to get a great game from Charlie Morton after six straight losses - like someone wrote in the comments recently, if Morton hadn't gotten the Bucs on track today, things might really have snowballed for them.