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Morton is dealing like an ace

The Sports Xchange
 
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Morton is dealing like an ace
 

Meet Charlie Morton, the Pirates' staff ace and stopper.

All this seemed unthinkable a year ago, but Morton improved to 5-1, lowered his ERA to 2.62 and ended his team's six-game losing streak with maybe the most dominating performance of his career Wednesday night: He blanked the Cincinnati Reds, the National League's most prolific offense, on five hits, going the distance on 106 pitches.

"Yeah, it's fun," Morton said afterward. "I feel like I did my job."

That feeling was rare last year, when Morton went 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA and spent much of the summer in the minors. But his new three-quarters delivery and suddenly-developed sinker have made for the most dramatic transformation for any player in baseball to this point.

Catcher Chris Snyder was Morton's batterymate for his other complete game this season, also in Cincinnati, and they apparently changed nothing.

"They're an aggressive team, so we stuck with the same plan," Snyder said. "Charlie had everything working, got z lot of ground balls and got it done. And we needed it, especially after what we've gone through in the past week."

Morton had pitched only two innings over the previous 11 days because of rainouts, but he was sharp from the outset Wednesday, pounding the sinker and getting 14 ground balls.

"My defense has done a great job every time I've been on the mound," Morton said.

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2015 Team Leaders
AVGStarling Marte , LF.297
HRStarling Marte , LF8
RBIStarling Marte , LF27
OBPStarling Marte , LF.346
SLGStarling Marte , LF.531
RGregory Polanco , RF21
SBGregory Polanco , RF11
WGerrit Cole , SP5
ERAA.J. Burnett , SP1.38
WHIPFrancisco Liriano , SP1.11
KGerrit Cole , SP53
SVMark Melancon , RP9

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