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Pirates Face Marlins In Last Game Of Miserable Season

Sports Network | October 3, 2010

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates are facing a must-win situation if they want to avoid matching the worst road record in a 162-game season. Today they'll try to do that in the finale of a four-game series against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.

Pittsburgh lost Thursday's series opener in South Florida before bouncing back with Friday's victory to even the series. However, the Pirates dropped a 2-0 decision Saturday and fell to 17-63 on the road this season to keep themselves in the running to tie the 1963 New York Mets' mark for the worst road record (17-64).

Charlie Morton suffered the loss even though he allowed just two runs in six innings with nine strikeouts. John Bowker and Ronny Cedeno both had two hits in the loss for the Pirates, who haven't had a winning season since 1992 - the last time they made the playoffs.

"I'm having more fun, those first two months seemed like two years," Morton said. "Now, I do know I can go out there and compete with what I have and not only compete but succeed. I can do my job."

Getting the nod for the Buccos today will be Brian Burres, who is 4-4 with a 5.01 earned run average through 19 games (12 starts) this season. He has won two of his last three decisions and is coming off Tuesday's 7-2 triumph at St. Louis. He held the Cardinals to two runs -- one earned -- and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Burres, a lefty, hopes to even his 2010 road mark tonight and sports a 2-3 mark in 11 games (7 starts) as the visitor.

Florida has won two of three games since a four-game slide and hopes to end the 2010 campaign on a winning note. In Saturday's shutout of the Buccos, starter Jorge Sosa threw four shutouts innings for the no-decision and Brian Sanchez tossed two scoreless innings for the win. Jose Veras, Leo Nunez and Clay Hensley combined to pitch three shutout frames with Hensley getting his sixth save.

Mike Stanton drove in a run and Osvaldo Martinez ended with two hits for Florida. The rookie Stanton is hitting .410 with two homers and eight runs batted in during a 10-game hit streak.

Marlins righty Anibal Sanchez will close out the season with his 32nd start today and hopes to put the brakes on a personal three-game losing streak. He has dropped four of five starts and was beaten in Atlanta the last time out on Tuesday. In the 3-2 setback, Sanchez surrendered all three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings and managed six strikeouts. Sanchez, who is 12-12 with a 3.62 ERA, lost his only appearance to Pittsburgh on April 21 last season at PNC Park.

He gave up three runs and seven hits through seven innings with six K's in the 3-2 loss. Sanchez is 4-4 in 14 starts in south Florida this season.

The Marlins took three of four at Pittsburgh from Aug. 16-19 and have won seven of the last nine meetings between the club's.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.