The Pirates defeated the Reds 5-0 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati Wednesday night thanks to a complete-game, five-hit shutout by Charlie Morton, who appears to be emerging as the Pirates' ace - at least at the moment.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Bucs.
As has been his trend all year, Morton racked up ground ball outs, this time complementing them with five strikeouts. It was his second consecutive complete game against the Reds, also beating them on April 15. Morton's ERA for the season is down to 2.63, and while his 29 strikeouts and 26 walks suggest he can't keep that up, his ability to get hitters to ground out should help him stay effective throughout the season.
Much of the Pirates' offense came courtesy of Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen, who between them drove in all five Bucs runs with homers on mistake pitches by Bronson Arroyo. Alvarez's three-run jack in the fourth went deep into the stands in right-center, and McCutchen's two-run bomb in the seventh went to left field. Alvarez's homer was only his second of the season