Pittsburgh Pirates win third consecutive game by a shutout, beat White Sox 3-0


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Charlie Morton turned in another dazzling performance on the mound to stay undefeated as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Tuesday night. Morton kept the White Sox off the board through seven innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out three. This game also represents the team’s third straight shutout victory and is part of a string of 30 consecutive scoreless innings by pitching staff. The Pirates sit at 37-27 going into Wednesday night’s game in Chicago.

The White Sox were threatening to take a first inning lead after Morton walked lead-off hitter Adam Eaton who quickly stole second. Alexi Ramirez hit into a fielder’s choice in front of the plate and Cervelli snapped the ball to Jung Ho Kang to get Eaton who slid past the base. The Pirates had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the inning when they had the bases loaded but Jordy Mercer flew out to right field.

Pittsburgh got on the board in the third inning when Starling Marte singled and then stole second. Marte came around to score on Andrew McCutchen‘s single, who advanced to second on the throw. Sean Rodriguez added another run in the fourth inning when he launched this third home run of the season into the stands.

Francisco Cervelli, probably the most animated member of these 2015 Pirates, hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Pirates their third run of the game. Morton would come out and pitch the seventh inning and then turn things over to the bullpen for the rest of the game. Tony Watson came in for the eighth and issued one walk but otherwise did what he normally does and kept the White Sox off the board. Mark Melancon worked a perfect ninth and earned his 21st save of the season.

What Stood Out

The pitching once again stole the spotlight from the other highlights last night. Not only has the rotation continued to turn in great start after great start, but the bullpen has done their job when called upon. This is an impressive run that the team is on right now and certainly the sharp defense behind the pitching deserves recognition. While last night’s game did not have the dramatic plays that Sunday’s game did, it was still a solid performance all around.

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On the offensive side, getting long balls from Rodriguez and Cervelli on a night when the rest of the team could not muster one extra base hit was huge. The versatility of Rodriguez allows Clint Hurdle to give guys a day off here and there, but he is starting to look more and more like a decent platoon option with Pedro Alvarez. The fact that he is getting the starts over Corey Hart lately could be a sign that things may be changing soon.

What’s Next

The home and home series moves to Chicago on Wednesday night when Jeff Locke and John Danks face off at 8:10 PM. Locke, who at this point is the weakest member of the rotation, will look to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates’ winning streak alive going into Chicago. With yet another lefty opposing the Pirates, it will not be surprising to see some of the left-handed hitters take a seat on the bench. Although when one of the right-handed options is Hart, perhaps Hurdle will plug a lefty or two into the lineup.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates finding success for Starling Marte in two-hole