The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

July 2, 2014

Pirates rookie goes deep in home victory

PITTSBURGH — Gregory Polanco homered, Charlie Morton continued his effective pitching at home and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the fifth time in six games, 5-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

Polanco, a highly touted rookie who has reached safely in 19 of 21 major league games, had a double, a walk and his third home run for Pittsburgh, which clinched its fourth consecutive series victory.

Polanco’s line-drive shot to right off Chase Anderson in the second inning gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead.

Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-4 with a run for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three straight.

Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, who earlier in the day was named NL player of the month for June, did not play the field in the ninth inning. He fouled a ball off his foot and winced in pain in the eighth, but continued his at-bat and singled. There was no immediate word if McCutchen was injured or if it was a precaution.

Pittsburgh (44-40) has won nine of 11 and moved a season-best four games over .500.

Morton (5-9) limited Arizona to one run, five hits and three walks in six innings to lower his ERA at PNC Park to 2.13.

Morton has worked into the sixth inning during all eight of his home starts this season and has allowed four earned runs over 33 2⁄3 innings in his past five starts at home.

Justin Wilson, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon each worked a scoreless inning for Pittsburgh. Run-scoring hits by Starling Marte and McCutchen in the eighth inning eliminated a save opportunity for Melancon.

Russell Martin went 2-for-3 with a walk for the Pirates.

Anderson (5-4) allowed 11 baserunners and did not get out of the fourth inning.

Last-place Arizona had three errors.

Notes: Reigning NL MVP McCutchen led the NL – or tied for the lead – in extra-base hits (20), home runs (8) and RBI (25). ... A day after blowing his fourth save in 23 opportunities this season, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said Addison Reed would remain his closer. ... Pirates LHP Francisco Liriano, who has been on the DL since June 11 because of an oblique strain, threw a simulated game Wednesday. He indicated that it went well but no specifics were offered about a return. ... RHP Vance Worley starts for Pittsburgh tonight against RHP Roberto Hernandez (3-7, 4.26).

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