Charlie Morton came off the disabled list to gain his first victory since July 2, and the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-0 Tuesday night for their ninth win in 11 games.
Sidelined since Aug. 16 because of right hip inflammation and a sports hernia, Morton (6-12) allowed four hits in five innings, struck out six and walked two. He had been 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA in his eight previous starts.
Five relievers combined on three-hit relief, completing the Pirates’ eighth shutout this season. Boston has been blanked 15 times,
Pittsburgh entered 1 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the NL’s second wild card and 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis, the NL Central leader. The Cardinals hosted the Brewers on Tuesday night.
Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the second inning off rookie Anthony Ranaudo (3-3), and Starling Marte added a solo shot in the sixth. Travis Snider added an RBI single in the seventh against Tommy Layne
Ranaudo lost his third straight start, giving up three runs, four hits and three walks in 5 2-3 innings. He has allowed 10 home runs in his first six big league starts.
Boston rookie Xander Bogaerts had two hits to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Red Sox: INF-OF Brock Holt is to be examined by concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Holt has not played since Sept. 5.
Pirates: SS Jordy Mercer was a late scratch because of lower back tightness and Clint Barmes took his place in the starting lineup. … Marte (bruised right elbow) started for the first time since he was hit by a pitch from Philadelphia RHP A.J. Burnett last Thursday.
Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (8-8, 5.19) will look to win his fourth consecutive start Wednesday night when he faces LHP Francisco Liriano (5-10, 3.53), who is seeking to win his third straight outing. Buchholz has allowed four earned runs in 21 1-3 innings in his last three starts for a 1.66 ERA. Liriano pitched a combined 14 shutout innings while winning his last two starts.
CASTILLO DEBUT WEDNESDAY
Boston planned to recall CF Rusney Castillo from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday night and he will make his major league debut. The Red Sox signed Castillo to a $72.5 million, seven-year contract on Aug. 22, the largest deal for a Cuban defector.