Morton ‘out of whack' in clunker
There was a buzz in the air on the North Side before tonight's game, as a large number of Cleveland fans joined over 30,000 Pirates supporters roaming the streets around the park and loudly imbibing at the local pubs. It didn't hurt that it was the beginning of a holiday weekend or that both teams were coming off series sweeps, but mostly it was just the anticipation of the baseball version of the Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland rivalry.
But the game didn't live up to the spirit of the day. It was a slowly-paced clunker that drained most of the energy out of the crowd pretty quickly.
Charlie Morton struggled with his command early, leaving sinkers up in the zone and laboring through a 35-pitch second inning that yielded two Indians runs. He ended up plodding through six innings but did limit the damage to three runs.
"There were a couple innings where his ball was up a little bit, that one pitch to [Brandon Moss] was left over the plate," Hurdle said. "The overall volume of work was pretty good ... He gave us a start and kept us in the game."
Morton allowed four hits and three runs over six innings. He walked and struck out three.
"At times it was really bad, at times it was fine," Morton said of his outing. "I wasn't throwing my curveball for strikes like I had been. The fastball command wasn't really there. Changeup command was good, but that's about it."
Morton said there were times he felt his mechanics were a bit off, but that's something that he struggles with often.
"I feel out of whack all the time," Morton said. "There's a point pretty much every outing where you fell a little bit out of it. The thing is sometimes it streaks and it ends up hurting you. Other times you get away with it."
McCutchen provides lone jolt before rain takes over
With the Indians leading 3-0 in the fourth, Andrew McCutchen provided the only spark of the night for Pirates fans when he launched a two-run homer over the centerfield wall.
The score remained 3-2 until the bottom of the seventh, when the rain that had been falling most of the game took over and forced an over two hour delay.
During the stoppage the Cardinals game was shown on the big screen and the fans gave a rousing cheer when the Padres scored in the ninth and held on to win, 2-1.
Caminero gives up two runs
When play resumed, Arquimedes Caminero took over to pitch the eighth and quickly had the bases loaded with one out. Michael Bourn then lined a two-run single that put the Indians up 5-2.
Caminero has allowed 13 hits and six runs over his last six appearances.
"It's location, the balls are elevated a little more than have been in the past," Hurdle said the right-hander's recent struggles.