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Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

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Pittsburgh (19-23) «000300200580
Cincinnati (25-18)000000000050

Pirates 5, Reds 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- All the Reds could do with Charlie Morton's pitches was pound them into the ground, just like last time.

The right-hander shut down Cincinnati's powerful lineup again, throwing a five-hitter for his second career shutout, and Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer Wednesday night, leading Pittsburgh to a 5-0 victory that snapped the Pirates' six-game losing streak.

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Morton (5-1) avoided heavy rain for a change and stymied Cincinnati again. He threw a five-hitter for a 6-1 win at Great American Ball Park on April 15, coming within one out of his second career shutout. Jay Bruce homered with two outs in the ninth to end that shutout.

This time, he faced Fred Lewis with two outs in the ninth. He hit a fly ball that Jose Tabata caught on the warning track in left field to finish it off.

"I almost thought when Fred hit that ball it was going to go out," said Morton, who threw 69 strikes out of 106 pitches. "I just looked at it and was, 'Oh, no!' But Tabata was at the warning track and he caught it."

Alvarez ended his streak of 15 games without driving in a run when he connected in the fourth off Bronson Arroyo (3-4), who has been prone to homers this season. Andrew McCutchen added a two-run shot in the seventh.

Arroyo has given up 10 homers, accounting for 16 of the 29 runs he's allowed. Against Morton, there was no margin for error.

"Any way you cut it, when Charlie's throwing that way against us, you can't afford to give up a lot of runs," Arroyo said.

Morton sent the Reds to only their third loss in 14 games. His other shutout was Sept. 30, 2009 at Wrigley Field -- the last complete-game shutout by a Pirates pitcher on the road.

Morton has turned into the Pirates' rainmaker. His start last Thursday against the Dodgers was called after two innings. He was supposed to start Tuesday in Washington, but the game was called because of a threat of rain, pushing him back one day.

Appropriately, he didn't get through this one without some raindrops. Light rain moved in during the sixth inning, but Morton was in control by then.

"He's going through a period where he has our number right now," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We'll get to him. He's throwing that sinker and very few breaking balls, and he's getting ahead of hitters."

The right-hander's sinking pitches have gotten the better of Cincinnati's prolific offense. Morton gets 77 percent of his outs off ground balls, the most in the majors. He kept his infielders busy again on Wednesday -- only seven of Cincinnati's outs came in the air.

"It was good stuff: Ground Chuck," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I'm happy for him. I'm proud of him."

His latest showing was a big relief for the struggling Pirates, who are familiar with long losing streaks. They had four losing streaks of at least seven games last season, including a 12-game slump in June.

Arroyo gave up five runs in seven innings, becoming the first Reds starter to take a loss since May 3. With Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto back from the disabled list, Reds starters had gone unbeaten during the last 13 games -- 8-0 with a 2.37 ERA.

Notes

It was the third combined shutout by Pirates pitchers this season. The Reds were blanked for only the second time. ... Pirates RH Evan Meek, on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, fanned three batters in one inning during a minor league rehab appearance on Tuesday night. Manager Clint Hurdle said the reliever will pitch Friday and Saturday and if there's no problem, he'll rejoin the team next week. ... Bruce was a late scratch from the Reds' lineup. He wasn't feeling well. ... Arroyo gave up a pair of singles in the first inning. Reds pitchers have only nine 1-2-3 opening innings in 43 games. ... 2B Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to nine games.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

P. Alvarez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

C. Morton
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF5112001 .241
Jose Tabata, LF3000110 .227
Garrett Jones, RF4010001 .250
Neil Walker, 2B3110100 .279
Lyle Overbay, 1B4120002 .237
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4113011 .211
Chris Snyder, C4000011 .258
Ronny Cedeno, SS4120000 .252
Charlie Morton, P3000031 .056
Totals3458526  
Batting
2B - Lyle Overbay (8, Arroyo), Ronny Cedeno (6, Arroyo)
HR - Andrew McCutchen (8, Arroyo), Pedro Alvarez (2, Arroyo)
SH - Charlie Morton (3)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen 2 (23), Pedro Alvarez 3 (10)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Alvarez-Walker-Overbay
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton (W,5-1) 9500250 2.62
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 106-69
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 14-7
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 33
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF4010010 .278
Paul Janish, SS3000111 .242
Joey Votto, 1B4010013 .340
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010001 .327
Scott Rolen, 3B3000102 .277
Fred Lewis, RF4010000 .292
Jonny Gomes, LF3000002 .183
    Sam LeCure, P0000000 .200
Ryan Hanigan, C3000010 .259
Bronson Arroyo, P2000010 .235
    Chris Heisey, LF1010000 .271
Totals3105025  
Batting
2B - Brandon Phillips (9, Morton)
Team LOB - 6
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bronson Arroyo (L,3-4) 7755242 4.11
Sam LeCure 2100020 3.23
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 107-64, Sam LeCure 23-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 8-9, Sam LeCure 2-2
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 30, Sam LeCure 7
Game Information
Attendance - 16543
Game Time - 2:17
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - John Hirschbeck