for this game

Morris, Pirates slow down first-place Diamondbacks

Sep 27, 2007 - 3:52 AM By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - The Pittsburgh Pirates aren't making things easy on the Arizona Diamondbacks in their quest to clinch a National League playoff spot.

Matt Morris hurled seven strong innings and Xavier Nady hit his 20th home run as the last-place Pirates beat the first-place Diamondbacks for the second consecutive night with a 5-1 victory on Wednesday.

Adam LaRoche had two hits and three RBI for the Pirates.

Arizona (88-70) holds a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West over the second-place San Diego Padres (86-71) and a 2 1/2-game advantage over the third-place Colorado Rockies (85-72).

The Padres and Rockies both are in action later Wednesday night.

"This definitely puts the pressure on us," said first baseman Conor Jackson, who had the Diamondbacks' only extra base hit and lone RBI. "But on the flip side of that, you can't push the panic button. We're still in a good spot. But we have to get back to playing the way we have for the past two months.

"This is kind of uncharacteristic of us."

Stephen Drew and Augie Ojeda each had two hits for Arizona, which has lost three in a row. The Pirates entered this series carrying a season-worst nine-game losing streak.

Morris (10-11) pitched his best game as a Pirate since being acquired at the July 31 trade deadline. He allowed one run and six hits while striking out seven without a walk, improving to 3-4 as a Pirate.

"I pitched like it was the last game of the year, which it is," Morris said. "Whatever was in my tank, I was going to leave it out on the field. I was able to make some pitches and get outs, and we had some great defensive plays."

After the two teams sat through a 59-minute delay in the bottom of the second inning, Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead in the third when LaRoche hit a ground-rule double to left center off Diamondbacks starter Livan Hernandez that drove in Morris and Nyjer Morgan.

Pittsburgh added to that the following inning when Morgan singled in Jose Castillo. The Pirates threatened to break the game open with the bases loaded and nobody out, but Hernandez got LaRoche to ground into a double play to keep the Pittsburgh lead at 3-0.

"I'm very, very big on the integrity of the game, the integrity of the playoff races," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "To have the other side of the field go out there and play against you the way we did the last couple days, I think if they didn't realize it they certainly do now.

"We are not here for them to just show up and beat us two or three times and get themselves closer or have a party over there."

But the Pirates eventually got that run anyway on the next pitch they saw from Hernandez. Nady led off the fifth with his homer to right and, when Jose Bautista then singled on Hernandez's next pitch, the righthander's night was over.

Hernandez (11-11) allowed 13 baserunners - 10 hits and three walks in his four-plus innings, striking out three and walking three. His final start of the season also was tied for his shortest outing of the campaign.

"I felt good early," Hernandez said. "But after the rain delay, I don't think I felt as good. It seemed like (the delay) took all my energy. The body didn't respond to it too well."

Arizona finally got on the board in the sixth when Eric Byrnes singled with two outs and scored when Jackson followed with a double. But those were two of only nine baserunners the Diamondbacks had all night.

"I don't know if we're pressing or trying to do too much or what," third baseman Mark Reynolds said. "We're not getting the big hit right now."

LaRoche doubled in Cesar Izturis in the seventh to make it 5-1.

Morgan, Izturis, LaRoche, Ronny Paulino, Castillo and Morris each had two hits for Pittsburgh.

"If you're sitting in spring training and they tell you you'll have four games left in the season and you'll have the (division) lead, you'd have to take it," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "We need to get our mind-set back to that."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 8 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 2 1 1 0 1 0 x 5 15 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ARI - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, JUAN CRUZ (5TH), DOUG SLATEN (7TH), BOB
    WICKMAN (7TH), BRANDON MEDDERS (8TH), BILL MURPHY (8TH) AND
    MIGUEL MONTERO
    PIT - MATT MORRIS, SALOMO

    Sep 26 10:43 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED CESAR IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LAROCHE ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    PITTSBURGH 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: X NADY (.283, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesSep 26 10:04 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CONOR JACKSON SCORED ERIC BYRNES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JACKSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    PITTSBURGH 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M REYNOLDS (.281, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesSep 26 9:46 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY XAVIER NADY (20) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0, PITTSBURGH 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAUTISTA (.258, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesSep 26 9:32 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NYJER MORGAN SCORED JOSE CASTILLO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MORGAN ON FIRST, M MORRIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0
    PITTSBURGH 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: C IZTURIS (.253, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesSep 26 9:15 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED MATT MORRIS AND
    NYJER MORGAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A LAROCHE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: X NADY (.282, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesSep 26 8:52 PM
  • 5
    roots
    lsrccrd Added 5 roots

    Diamondbacks vs. PiratesSep 26 9:28 AM