03/12/12 3:29 PM ET
Morton fires two scoreless frames in debut
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
Charlie Morton made his first exhibition outing for the Pirates. A week behind other pitchers as he makes his gradual way back from hip surgery in October, Morton blanked the Phillies for two innings, dodging the damage of four hits.
"I got it out of the way," Morton said. "It was a different experience. But it's been a weird camp, without having been in games. The intensity naturally goes up in front of fans, and facing hitters. Now I can go from strengthening to competing. Hopefully they'll let me go three [innings] next time, then four."Pittsburgh shortstop Clint Barmes might have prevented two early runs when, with men on second and third and two outs in the second, he ranged far to his left for Martinez's up-the-middle grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning. Up next for Pirates: On Tuesday, the Bucs take their first day off since the Feb. 18 opening of camp, and the first of only three off-days prior to Opening Day on April 5. Manager Clint Hurdle and his staff may not be off, possibly working on the first round of camp cuts. The Pirates will return to action on Wednesday by meeting the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., where James McDonald will make his third start.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.