The defending champion San Francisco Giants (34-31) ruined Charlie Morton’s return to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting rotation on Thursday night by pounding out 17 hits, and defeating the Bucs 10-0 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Making the game even more lopsided were the Pirates’ tally of only three hits, the Bucs’ three errors, and the three double plays recorded against them by the Giants’ defense.
Only four of the runs were scored during Morton’s five-inning stint, and just two of them were earned runs. Morton, in his first Major League start since his “Tommy John” surgery exactly one year ago, allowed seven hits, struck out five hits and walked only one, but hit three batters. Morton (0-1; 3.60 ERA) threw 86 pitches.
Mike Zagurski (15.00 ERA) allowed five runs in his one inning of relief work, including three on a home run by the Giants’ Hunter Pence. San Francisco recorded another tally off Vin Mazarro in the ninth inning. In between, Ryan Reid worked two innings of scoreless relief.
Just one day after they recorded 18 hits in a 12-8 victory over the Giants, the Pirates (39-27) could manage on Thursday only an Andrew McCutchen double, and singles by Garrett Jones and Travis Snider. For the Giants, Gregor Blanco, Buster Posey and Joaquin Arias all tallied three hits.
San Francisco starter Matt Cain (5-3; 4.70 ERA) was the winning pitcher, going 6-and-two-thirds innings, and allowing just two hits. He struck out three hitters and walked two.
The Bucs won the series 2-games-to-one.
The Pirates announced on Thursday that they have placed starter A.J. Burnett on the 15-day disabled list due to a right calf strain. The roster move was made retroactive to June 9. Burnett was to have started the first game of a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers (28-37) on Friday night. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle will move Jeff Locke’s start up one night, meaning Hurdle will need to settle on a new starter for Saturday afternoon’s contest.
So, on Friday, Locke (5-1; 2.39 ERA) will face the Dodgers, who are scheduled to start Stephen Fife (1-1; 3.78 ERA).
The Pirates also Thursday released pitcher Jose Contreras upon pulling Contreras off the DL. Hurdle had to bench Starling Marte on Thursday, just one day after Marte went 4-for-5 in the middle game of the Giants series. Marte was said to be experiencing some discomfort in his rib cage.