PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Charlie Morton took a shutout into the eighth inning Saturday, and unlike last night with Paul Maholm, the Pirates bats gave their pitcher enough support for a win at PNC Park.
Lyle Overbay added his first home run at home this season and Andrew McCutchen had a two-run double in the 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros.
Morton (4-1) worked 7 2-3 innings while allowing seven hits and one run to win consecutive starts for the first time in his career. He has already doubled his win total from last season, when he went 2-12 in 17 starts.
For the Astros, Bud Norris (2-2) had a 14-inning scoreless streak snapped in the second inning. He had nine strikeouts in seven innings for the last-place Astros, who have lost three of four.
Overbay led off the second by taking a 1-1 pitch from Norris deep into the elevated seats in right field. McCutchen’s two-out double drove in Chris Snyder and Ronny Cedeno. It was one of McCutchen’s team-high two hits.
The three runs Norris gave up that inning matched the total he had allowed in his previous four starts combined.
Morton hadn’t even won consecutive decisions until earlier this season. He was charged with a lone earned run for the fourth time in seven starts this year.
Morton allowed seven hits and two walks – three of those hits coming in the eighth, when Carlos Lee’s two-out single drove in Michael Bourn.
Bourn had two hits, and Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the eighth for the Astros.
Houston’s Jason Bourgeois extended his hitting streak to seven games, but left during the sixth after grabbing his lower left side in pain while running out of the batter’s box on a fielder’s choice. He sustained a strained left oblique.
The Pirates added three in the eighth off of Jose Valdez and Enerio Del Rosario, highlighted by a Brandon Wood two-run double.