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Charlie Morton, Pirates offense struggle in 5-0 loss

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure this is a game that really needs a recap, especially several hours after the fact, but here goes: The Rockies got to Charlie Morton, and Jorge De La Rosa and the Colorado bullpen shut down the Pirates offense as the Bucs lost 5-0 Sunday.

Morton allowed no hits through three innings, but everything went awry in the fourth. Morton gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, and then Nolan Arenado brought home a run on a double to right. The Rockies were held to one run on that play as Gregory Polanco got the ball in quickly, but that soon became irrelevant, as Morton threw a breaking ball that caught too much of the plate and Ben Paulsen lined it to the right-center gap for a two-run triple.

Morton then put two runners on in the sixth and gave up two runs after he tried to make the toss to first to get the third out and ended up throwing the ball way over the head of first baseman Michael Morse. Morton left after that sixth inning, having struck out six and walked two. It was a frustrating start for Morton, whose uneven season continues. Morton is going to give up his fair share of hits due to his pitch-to-contact style, and he'll occasionally have starts where balls find holes. This afternoon's start wasn't so much an example of that, though. The balls to Arenado and Paulsen were mistakes. Not huge ones, but mistakes nonetheless. Morton's peripherals are fine and his ground-ball rate is terrific as usual, so he'll probably be fine in the long run, but he can help himself by pitching a bit more precisely.

That was it, really. The Pirates only got four hits and only really threatened in the seventh, when they put two runners on before Scott Oberg got three straight outs. The Bucs also struck out 10 times and walked only once, and they dropped back a game on the Cardinals, who beat the Giants.