The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

June 21, 2014

Three-run HR carries Cubs over Pirates

Chicago — Charlie Morton hung a curveball to the wrong batter at the wrong time, and it proved costly for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Morton yielded a home run to Starlin Castro for the third time this season, a three-run shot that sent the Chicago Cubs to a 6-3 victory on Friday.

Jordy Mercer hit a three-run shot for the Pirates, who have lost four of five since a four-game winning streak. Ike Davis added two hits.

Pittsburgh rookie Gregory Polanco opened the game with a single to center, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. He is the first NL player to begin his career with such a streak since Juan Pierre’s 16-game run for Colorado in 2000.

Morton retired six in a row before pitcher Edwin Jackson’s one-out single in the third started a string of five consecutive batters reaching safely. Anthony Rizzo lined a two-run double into the right-field corner before Castro drove an 0-2 curveball over the wall in left for his 11th homer, moving past his total from all of last year.

“I mean, you want to bury (the 0-2 pitch). We’ve seen him hit some breaking balls that stayed in the zone before,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He got the barrel on that one.”

Morton jerked his head down in disgust when Castro connected, and then turned around to see where the ball was going. Castro’s 10th career homer against the Pirates gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.

“I could have gotten the ball down a little bit more,” Morton said. “I don’t think it was a bad pitch. It was a bad pitch to him in that situation.”

The six runs in six innings were a season high for Morton, who had won each of his last three starts and was 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his previous five outings.

Chris Coghlan also had a solo homer as the Cubs opened a

10-game homestand with their fourth win in five games.

Last-place Chicago also improved to 18-13 since May 17 for the best record in the NL in that stretch.

“Everything in this game is contagious, whether it’s positive, negative, hitting, defense, pitching,” Coghlan said. “I think we’re having more team at-bats.”

Jackson (5-7) was removed after 86 pitches due to cramps in his calves, but it was enough to get his first win in four matchups this year against Morton (4-8).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide