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Cubs Vs. Pirates: Bucs Offense Wastes Charlie Morton's Strong Start In 1-0 Loss

The Pirates fell below .500 with a 1-0 loss to the Cubs at PNC Park Wednesday.

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 03:  Charlie Morton #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the game on August 3, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 03: Charlie Morton #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the game on August 3, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Charlie Morton struck out seven in seven shutout innings, but a solo homer by Starlin Castro after Morton departed gave the Cubs a 1-0 win, putting the sinking Pirates below .500 for the first time in weeks.

Morton pitched well, using his sinker to retire one Cubs hitter after another, but he was stuck in a pitchers' duel with Matt Garza, who also struck out seven over seven innings. Chris Resop relieved Morton and allowed the Castro homer, and Carlos Marmol cam on to pick up the save for Chicago.

The Pirates' offense mustered just four hits, all singles. Two of those came from Pedro Alvarez, who has hit safely in the last three games. His recent play and Morton's strong start are reasons for hope, but for a team that's trying to contend, hope is really just cold comfort. The Bucs are fading from relevance in the N.L. Central race.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. 

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