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Morton starts strong but falters in Pirates' loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm •  Published: August 10, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Charlie Morton retired the first 10 hitters he faced, then gave up five runs between the fourth and fifth innings.

"It was almost like two outings for him," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "One through three and then four and five. It's just two different sides of it."

The Pirates couldn't overcome the bad side.

Seth Smith hit a bases-loaded triple and Tyson Ross pitched six strong innings, leading the San Diego Padres to an 8-2 victory Sunday.

The Padres clinched a 14th consecutive series victory at PNC Park.

Morton was perfect before Yangervis Solarte walked with one out in the fourth and scored Yonder Alonso's single.

"In the fourth inning, the sinker away to left-handers starting elevating," Hurdle said. "A couple left-handers were able to get balls out over the plate and hit them to left field."

That happened when Morton left a 2-0 fastball over the plate and Smith tripled to left for three RBIs and scored on a wild pitch for a 5-2 lead.

Before Smith's triple, Morton was ahead of Solarte 0-2 and was poised to quell the Padres' threat. Instead, a curveball hit Solarte in the foot to load the bases.

"I didn't put him away when I needed to on that 0-2 pitch and that's what really hurt," Morton said.

Morton (5-11) was lifted after the fifth, responsible for five runs, five hits, a walk and five strikeouts.

Ross (11-10) allowed Gregory Polanco's two-run shot in the first, then shut down the Pirates. He yielded six hits and walked two.

"I thought he battled without his best stuff and his best command," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "Hanging slider to Starling Marte to lead off the game and then a hanging slider to Polanco, I think that kind of woke him up a bit."

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