get an all-too-rare win in the closing days of another lost season.
Morton allowed one run in seven innings, helping the
win for only the third time in their past 20 games, 5-1 over the San Diego Padres Friday night.
Morton (4-8) had lost six of his past seven decisions and had a 7.13 ERA since the beginning of August but shook off a rough
first inning Friday to allow only six hits and a walk.
''I think he's gaining confidence a little bit, starting to feel a little more comfortable in what he's doing,'' Pirates manager
said. ''He's young and we've got to continue to build off this. He has made very good strides. If we can get him a little
more consistent game in and game out and maintain that, he's going to be good. He has great stuff - if we can get him in the
zone like he was tonight.''
went 2 for 3 with an RBI and
was on base three times for last-place Pittsburgh (56-89), which entered the game on a three-game losing streak and having
lost eight of nine.
Earlier this season, the Pirates assured themselves of a 17th straight losing season.
each pitched a scoreless inning to wrap up the Pirates' first victory by more than one run since a 6-4 win against the Philadelphia
Phillies Aug. 25.
went 3 for 4 and scored a run for the Padres, who have lost three of four after a stretch in which they went 9-3.
''We just couldn't get hits tonight when we had opportunities with guys on base, and their guy got better as the game went
on,'' San Diego manager
said. ''We just couldn't get anything going.''
Morton, acquired from the
trade June 3, did not allow a hit with a runner on base during the game. He has allowed three runs or less in five of his
past seven outings.
''I found my curveball was working, even early in counts, and to be able to get ahead with the curveball is huge for me,''
Morton said. ''I haven't been able to do it all year consistently, and it's good when you have two pitches you can go to early
in counts. Tonight I was more fastball-curveball, which is how I like to be and then have that changeup in my pocket.''
After the Padres took a 1-0 lead against Morton in the top of the first on
's sacrifice fly, Pittsburgh scored three times in the bottom of the inning on only two hits.
(4-7) allowed triples by
along with four walks. Moss drove in two runs with his hit, and Milledge added a sacrifice line-out to right-center.
''I really didn't have anything out there today,'' Stauffer said. ''I tried to make some pitches and wasn't able to make the
big pitch when I needed to. I fell behind, and I just wasn't real consistent with anything tonight.''
Neither team scored again until the seventh, when
's single drove in McCutchen. McCutchen added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it 5-1.
The Padres won each of Stauffer's previous four outings. After allowing only one run in six-plus innings during each of the
past three games, Stauffer gave up three runs on four hits and four walks in three innings.
NOTES: The Pirates hit two triples for an inning for only the second time this season and did so during the first inning for
the first time since Aug. 11, 2005 at Colorado. ... Stauffer threw 40 pitches in the first inning. ... Pittsburgh 2B
missed his second consecutive game due to lower back spasms and 3B
was a late scratch because of illness. ... The game was the beginning of the final homestand of the season for the Pirates
and the final roadtrip of the season for the Padres.