Game 57 Recap: Record Crowd Watches Bucs, Morton Win

Overbay contributed three hits.

I like it when regional teams travel well and help fill the stadium. Philadelphia fans came out strongly and helped put nearly 40,000 people in PNC park. But it was the Pirate fans who went home happy.

Charlie Morton was once again effective and picked up sixth win on the year. The offense supported him with scores in four different innings to win 6-3.

Morton gave up hits to the first two hitters – Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco – to put runners on first and third with one out. Chase Ultey whiffed. A grounder from Ryan Howard scored Rollins. Shane Victorino flied out to end the threat.

The Pirates jumped into the lead immediately off of Kyle Kendrick (who wasn’t featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated before the year began). Kendrick was called on to start with Joe Blanton on the disabled list. Jose Tabata led off the game with a double. Xavier Paul successfully bunted him to third. Andrew McCutchen followed with an RBI single to tie the score. Lyle Overbay doubled with two out to score McCutchen, making it 2-1 Pittsburgh.

Victorino and Raul Ibanez commenced the fourth inning with singles. But Morton got the next two hitters out on grounders – with Domonic Brown’s scoring Victorino to even the score – before getting Kendrick to pop up to end the inning.

As in the first, Pittsburgh bounced right back in the bottom of the fourth. Lyle Overbay tripled and scored on a ground out from Chris Snyder. Brandon Wood jacked his first homer as a Pirate to give put Pittsburgh up 4-2.

With J.C. Romero on in the seventh, Pittsburgh added another tally. Matt Diaz pinch hit for Morton. He walked. Two outs later, McCutchen doubled him home, making it 5-3. Pittsburgh also got to Danys Baez in the next frame. Chris Snyder walked. He was forced at second on a grounder from Wood. But a throwing error from Wilson Valdez trying to turn the double play put Wood on second. Ronny Cedeno’s ground ball out moved Wood to third and he scored when Baez let loose a wild pitch.

Jose Veras pitched a perfect eighth. But Joel Hanrahan ran into difficulty in the ninth. Ibanez doubled. Carlos Ruiz walked one out later. With two outs, Valdez singled off Hanrahan’s glove to load the bases. Polanco singled to plate Ibanez. But Hanrahan retired Chase Utley on a fly ball to end the game.

Morton went seven innings and allowed two runs. He yielded six hits and two walks. He struck out five. Kendrick was the loser. He gave up eight hits in five innings. He was charged with four runs. He walked no one and struck out no one.

The Good

About the right amount of offense.

McCutchen continues to tear it up with three hits. Overbay also had three knocks.

Wood’s first dinger as a Buc – maybe feeling some pressure from Josh Harrison.

The Bad
Hanrahan was shaky.

The Rest
Morton came into the game 0-2 with an ERA nearly 10.00 in three starts against Philadelphia. His sixth win establishes a career high.

Kendrick had been 4-0 in his career prior to this loss.

This was the seventh time the Pirates put 39,000 or more people in PNC. The last time was this year’s home opener on 4/7/11 against Colorado.

McCutchen came into June with only three games in which he collected three hits. He know has two in June.

This was Overbay’s first three hit game in a Pirate uniform.

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How big would a win today vs Holliday be finalizing a 3 game sweep, getting to that ever elusive .500 mark and going to draft day not having a losing record? Pretty long odds, but it’s possible.

How big would a win today vs Holliday be finalizing a 3 game sweep, getting to that ever elusive .500 mark and going to draft day not having a losing record? Pretty long odds, but it’s possible.

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