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June 14, 2014

Pirates build big lead, hold off Marlins rally in ninth

Miami — Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer and Jody Mercer also went deep, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-6 victory over the Miami Marlins on Saturday.

Josh Harrison and Chris Stewart had three hits apiece, and the Pirates finished with 18 overall in their sixth consecutive game in double digits. Touted rookie Gregory Polanco had two hits and two RBI.

Marcell Ozuna and Jeff Baker each hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Miami.

Randy Wolf (1-3) allowed five runs and nine hits in four innings.

The Pirates (34-34) have won four straight and five of six to get back to .500 for the first time since they were 8-8 following a victory over Milwaukee on April 17.

Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton (4-7) pitched seven effective innings for his third consecutive win.

He allowed two runs and five hits to improve to 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his last five starts.

He also struck out six batters.

After Stolmy Pimentel gave up four runs in the ninth, Jason Grilli allowed a single to Rafael Furcal before retiring Chris Johnson for his 10th save in 13 opportunities.

Mercer hit a leadoff homer in the second and McCutchen connected in the fourth, making it 5-0 with a drive to left for his 11th of the season.

McCutchen also made a sliding catch to rob Furcal of a base hit in the fifth.

 Furcal is 1-for-11 since rejoining the Marlins on Friday from hamstring and groin injuries that sidelined him for the team’s first 65 games.

Ozuna had a run-scoring triple in Miami’s two-run fourth, but Pittsburgh added three more in the fifth.

Mercer doubled home a run against Kevin Slowey, and Morton helped himself with a run-scoring sacrifice squeeze.

Polanco added a run-scoring single for an 8-2 lead.

Notes: Harrison missed the last two games because of left ankle discomfort. ... Pittsburgh called up veteran RHP Vance Worley from Triple-A Indianapolis so he can start today against Miami. Worley, 26, will be making his debut with the Pirates, who acquired him on March 25 from the Twins for cash considerations. Worley has a career record of 19-18 with a 4.05 ERA while pitching parts of three seasons with the Phillies and last year with the Twins. ... McCutchen extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... RHP Henderson Alvarez is Miami’s scheduled starter for today’s series finale ... Marlins LF Christian Yelich got the day off after he left Friday’s game in the first inning with a lower-back injury. The Marlins are hoping he can return in a day or two.

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