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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
AVGFrancisco Cervelli , C.295
HRPedro Alvarez , 1B27
RBIAndrew McCutchen , CF96
OBPAndrew McCutchen , CF.401
SLGAndrew McCutchen , CF.488
RAndrew McCutchen , CF91
SBStarling Marte , LF30
WGerrit Cole , SP19
ERAGerrit Cole , SP2.60
WHIPGerrit Cole , SP1.09
KFrancisco Liriano , SP205
SVMark Melancon , RP51

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