Morton's three strong help Bucs edge Tigers
Right-hander allows just one hit to follow up scoreless debut on Thursday
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton continued his strong work early this spring as the Bucs beat the Tigers, 5-2, on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.
After tossing two hitless innings against the Yankees on Thursday, Morton allowed only one hit over three scoreless frames on Tuesday, giving him five shutout innings with just a walk and a hit to start off the spring.
"I made some decent pitches and got lucky a few times when they put really good swings on some balls. I threw a couple more offspeed pitches for strikes than the last time," Morton said.
Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, meanwhile, breezed through the first and second innings before running into some trouble in the third. Josh Harrison doubled to left and moved to third on Chris Stewart's groundout. Jaff Decker then dropped a squeeze bunt that brought Harrison home, and Porcello's throw to first found Miguel Cabrera well off the bag. Jose Tabata singled, Decker scored on Gregory Polanco's line-drive double to right, and Tabata came home on a groundout by Pedro Alvarez.
Overall, Porcello gave up three runs on five hits and struck out one over three innings.
"I could have done better throwing first-pitch strikes," Porcello said. "The fastball feels real good. Breaking ball feels pretty good. The changeup's a little flat, but other than that, felt pretty good. I could've fielded my position a little bit better."
Austin Jackson pulled the Tigers within a run in the fourth, drilling a two-run shot, the club's second homer of the spring, to deep left field.
The Pirates tacked on two more runs late in the game. In the eighth, Taylor Lewis tripled off Tigers reliever Justin Miller and later scored on a fielder's choice. One inning later, Michael Martinez singled to plate Alen Hanson, who had reached on a single of his own off Bruce Rondon.
Up next: Right-hander Jay Jackson gets to make the start as the Bucs travel to Dunedin, Fla., on Wednesday to meet the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. ET, taking over for Jeff Locke. The left-handed All-Star was scratched after experiencing tightness in his right side. Lefty Joely Rodriguez, who could benefit from Locke's extended absence, is one of the other pitchers due to work for the Bucs. Listen to the game live on Gameday Audio.