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Pittsburgh at Arizona

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Pittsburgh (69-86) «1100100205141
Arizona (89-66)000000120391

Pirates slow Diamondbacks' drive toward NL West title

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Willie Bloomquist has a message for Arizona Diamondbacks fans: "Relax."

Charlie Morton threw six scoreless innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates slowed Arizona's drive toward the NL West title with a 5-3 victory against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

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The Diamondbacks got some help, though, when Clayton Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory against San Francisco in Los Angeles. Any combination of three Arizona victories or San Francisco losses and the Diamondbacks will dethrone the Giants as division champions.

"It's not like we're trying to make outs. We're up there trying to get base hits and push runs across," Bloomquist said. "The bottom line is at the end of the day we're still in a pretty good position. I'd rather be in this position than the other guy's position. People just need to relax a little bit. We know what we're doing. We're playing hard. We're going to be fine."

Derrek Lee hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Pirates and Pedro Alvarez had a solo shot in the second.

Morton (10-10), loser of his previous four starts, allowed three hits and struck out five in his first victory since Aug. 8.

Daniel Hudson (16-11) lasted five innings for the Diamondbacks, allowing three runs and seven hits.

The Diamondbacks, 1-0 winners on Monday night to give Ian Kennedy his 20th victory, will close out their three-game series with Pittsburgh on Wednesday, then have Thursday off before playing host to the Giants in a three-game set beginning Friday night.

"I don't think about when we're going to clinch," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "I know we just keep pushing ahead game by game and try to play a good game, pitch good, execute better at the plate and I believe that things will take care of themselves. I'm not thinking about any celebrations at all. Trust me."

Arizona has lost four of six.

Still, Gibson said, "We're what, 5½ up with seven to go? That's a pretty good position to be in."

After Morton was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, the Diamondbacks' Gerardo Parra and pinch-hitter Sean Burroughs singled off reliever Chris Leroux. Jason Grilli came on and gave up an RBI single to Bloomquist, but retired the heart of the Arizona order when Aaron Hill flied out to center, Justin Upton bounced out to second and Miguel Montero flied out to left.

The Pirates got that run back and more when usually reliable setup man David Hernandez faltered. Presley led off with his second double of the game then with two outs Lee slammed an 0-1 pitch over the wall in left for his sixth home run of the season.

Arizona restored the two-run margin with two runs in the eighth. Chris Young doubled and Ryan Roberts singled him in. With runners at first and third and two outs, Bloomquist put down a bunt that the third baseman Alvarez -- who had made two sparkling plays earlier -- threw wild to first allowing a run to score and make it 5-3.

Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect ninth for his 39th save in 42 tries.

Doubles by Presley and Neil Walker to start the game put Pittsburgh up 1-0, then Alvarez's towering first-pitch home run to right made it 2-0 in the second.

Hudson walked the first two batters he faced in the fifth, then Ryan Doumit followed with an RBI double to put the Pirates ahead 3-0. Hudson walked Alvarez intentionally to load the bases, then got Ronny Cedeno to pop out to escape further damage.

Spectacular catches by Presley in left and Garret Jones in right saved at least a run in the Arizona first. Presley ran down Upton's drive to deep left-center and Jones' diving grab robbed Paul Goldschmidt to end the inning.

"Both teams left a large amount of people on base but we did play excellent defense," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "A number of different times, the two catches in the first inning jumps out plus Presley goes in the gap to get one, Pedro had a couple. We were good in the field and Charlie pitched a solid ball game."

Singles by Montero and Young, followed by a wild pitch, put runners at second and third for the Diamondbacks with one out in the fourth. Morton fanned Roberts, then walked Parra intentionally to load the bases for Hudson, a .274 hitter. But the Arizona starter's harmless bouncer to second on the first pitch ended the threat.

Pittsburgh had 14 hits, eight for extra bases, and stranded 12 runners while snapping a four-game losing streak.

Notes

  • Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall, who announced Tuesday he has prostate cancer, sat in his usual seat near the dugout and got hugs of support from several red-clad team employees.
  • Morton had two hits all season -- in 48 at-bats -- before his single and double on Tuesday night.
  • Left-hander Wade Miley (3-2, 4.24 ERA) will make his seventh major-league start for Arizona on Wednesday. Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (1-2, 6.82 ERA) will go for the Pirates.
  • Pittsburgh saw two of its baserunners picked off.
 
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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After losing his previous four starts, Charlie Morton hurls six scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks.  (Getty Images)
After losing his previous four starts, Charlie Morton hurls six scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

D. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Arizona

C. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Presley, LF5220003 .298
Neil Walker, 2B5021001 .270
Andrew McCutchen, CF3100212 .262
Derrek Lee, 1B4122113 .263
Ryan Doumit, C5021003 .302
Garrett Jones, RF3010002 .243
   a- Ryan Ludwick, PH-RF1000001 .236
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
   b- Pedro Ciriaco, PH1010000 .357
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4111122 .190
Ronny Cedeno, SS5010024 .254
Charlie Morton, P3020010 .080
   c- Jason Jaramillo, PH1000012 .296
    Chris Leroux, P0000000 .000
    Jason Grilli, P0000000 .000
    Xavier Paul, RF0000000 .255
Totals40514548  
a-flied out for G. Jones in the 7th
b-singled for Watson in the 9th
c-struck out for Morton in the 7th
Batting
2B - Alex Presley 2 (11, Hudson, Hernandez), Neil Walker 2 (30, Hudson, Owings), Ryan Doumit (12, Hudson), Charlie Morton (3, Owings)
HR - Derrek Lee (18, Hernandez), Pedro Alvarez (4, Hudson)
RBI - Neil Walker (81), Derrek Lee 2 (57), Ryan Doumit (29), Pedro Alvarez (16)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee 2 (26)
PK - Pedro Ciriaco (1, Cook), Charlie Morton (1, Owings)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Pedro Alvarez (14, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton (W,10-10) 6300350 3.67
Chris Leroux0211000 2.74
Jason Grilli (H,7) 1100000 2.73
Jose Veras 0.1321000 3.60
Tony Watson (H,8) 0.2000000 3.96
Joel Hanrahan (S,39) 1000020 1.76
IBB - Parra by Charlie Morton
HBP - Hill (by Charlie Morton)
WP - Charlie Morton (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 106-59, Chris Leroux 11-8, Jason Grilli 17-12, Jose Veras 10-8, Tony Watson 7-5, Joel Hanrahan 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 7-6, Jason Grilli 1-2, Tony Watson 1-2, Joel Hanrahan 1-0
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 25, Chris Leroux 2, Jason Grilli 4, Jose Veras 4, Tony Watson 3, Joel Hanrahan 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Willie Bloomquist, SS5011000 .266
Aaron Hill, 2B3010104 .240
Justin Upton, RF5000022 .292
Miguel Montero, C4010113 .281
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B5000003 .254
Chris Young, CF4120010 .233
Ryan Roberts, 3B4111022 .249
Gerardo Parra, LF3120110 .296
Daniel Hudson, P2000003 .270
    Micah Owings, P0000000 .211
    Joe Paterson, P0000000 .000
    Bryan Shaw, P0000000 .000
   a- Sean Burroughs, PH1010000 .267
    David Hernandez, P0000000 .000
   b- Geoff Blum, PH1000002 .200
    Ryan Cook, P0000000 .000
Totals3739237  
a-singled for Shaw in the 7th
b-popped out for Hernandez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Aaron Hill (25, Morton), Chris Young (36, Veras)
RBI - Willie Bloomquist (25), Ryan Roberts (56)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - Ryan Roberts (14, Misplayed grounder)
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Daniel Hudson (L,16-11) 5733341 3.43
Micah Owings 1200100 3.00
Joe Paterson 0.2100010 3.00
Bryan Shaw 0.1100010 2.36
David Hernandez 1222011 3.53
Ryan Cook 1100010 8.44
IBB - Alvarez by Daniel Hudson
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Hudson 103-68, Micah Owings 21-14, Joe Paterson 11-8, Bryan Shaw 11-6, David Hernandez 19-14, Ryan Cook 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Hudson 2-10, Micah Owings 2-0, Ryan Cook 1-0
Batters Faced - Daniel Hudson 26, Micah Owings 5, Joe Paterson 3, Bryan Shaw 2, David Hernandez 5, Ryan Cook 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30114
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 98
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Mike Muchlinski, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Tony Randazzo