PHILADELPHIA , PA - JULY 29: Charlie Morton #50 talks with catcher Michael McKenry #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during a timeout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 29, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
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Starting pitcher Charlie Morton was rocked by eight runs in the first two innings. Meanwhile, Philadelphia starter Roy Halladay pitched seven strong innings of one-hit ball before turning the game over to the bullpen.
The game started ominously for the Pirates as Xavier Paul led off with a ground ball to Chase Utley, but reached first on a weak throw that Ryan Howard couldn't corral. Paul sharply rounded first as the ball rolled away, but quickly realized he couldn't reach second and was easily tagged out. Things quickly went downhill from there as the Bucs gave up three runs in the bottom of the first.
Paul and catcher Mike McKenry were the only Pirate starters with hits in the game while all but one Phillies' starter (catcher Carlos Ruiz) recorded at least one hit.
The Pirates also fell farther back in the standings as both the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals won on Friday night. Things don't get much easier tomorrow night as James McDonald and Pittsburgh will face Cliff Lee.
In other news, ESPN is reporting that the Phils are close to landing Astros' star Hunter Pence in an MLB Trade Deadline deal.