Hey, maybe Charlie Morton learned his lesson last spring...or maybe Joe Kerrigan's not around to confuse him anymore.
Whatever the reason, Morton has pitched pretty solidly this spring. He went six innings today, giving up four hits, no runs, and K'ing 5 as Pittsburgh won 3-1 over Houston, lowering his spring ERA to 1.29. And believe us, that's the kinda pitching the Pirates are gonna need.
All the runs needed were provided in the second inning when Ronny Cedeno's second spring blast brought home Josh Fields, who had doubled. The Bucs tacked on another in the third on a Dewey three-bagger that chased home Andy Marte.
Evan Meek and Chris Leroux up goose eggs until the ninth, when Mike Crotta gave up his first run of the year (it was unearned, thank you, Benji Gonzalez) while closing out the win.
Paul Maholm is slated to pitch the first six innings Monday against the Twins.
-- Minor league SS Benji Gonzalez came into the game today in the seventh inning and made four fielding errors and struck out. Quite the debut, hey?
-- Jameson Taillon made his spring debut today in minor league camp. He pitched two innings against the New York Yankees’ Class A team and gave up one run on three hits; he struck out two.
-- James McDonald had a bullpen session today; if he follows the usual Pirate regimen, he should be ready to go in about a week.
-- Brad Lincoln didn't throw today, his scheduled side-session time. With Morton on fire and Lincoln's arm wrapped in an ace bandage, it looks more and more like Bad Brad, despite a good spring showing, is destined to start the year at Indy.