National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 10 (All times Eastern)
San Diego Padres (53-62) at Pittsburgh Pirates (62-54), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Tyson Ross (10-10, 2.62) Pittsburgh - Charlie Morton (5-10, 3.43)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Charlie Morton has never lost to the Padres. A victory today by the Pirates right-hander would give Pittsburgh its first home series win over San Diego since the 2000 season.
With this being the rubber match of a three-game series, a lot is on the line today at PNC Park. First, the Pirates come in 2 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. Second, the Padres have won each of the 13 series played at PNC Park. The last time San Diego lost a series at Pittsburgh came July 28, 2000,the final year the Pirates played at Three Rivers Stadium.
The Padres have won 15 of their last 18 contests at PNC Park. Overall, the Padres have won 24 of their last 33 games against the Pirates since September 19, 2009.
Morton will try to finally end Pittsburgh's home series woes against the Padres when he takes the mound. He is 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four career starts against the Friars. That includes a 10-3 win on June 2 this year at Petco Park.
Morton has fallen on hard times lately though, as he's 0-1 over his last six starts. His last victory came July 2 at home versus Arizona. His previous start was a no-decision in Pittsburgh's 6-3 loss to the Marlins at PNC Park Tuesday night.
Tyson Ross counters on the hill for the Padres. The 27-year-old righty is 3-0 over his last four starts, but is coming off a no-decision against Atlanta a week ago. The Padres have won each of his last four starts. He's logged nine straight games of at least six innings pitched.
In two career starts against the Pirates, Ross is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA.
Last night, Eric Stults pitched into the seventh inning for his first road win of the season and the Padres grabbed a 2-1 victory.
Stults (5-13) won back-to-back starts for the first time this season as he gave up just one run on seven hits with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. It was his first road triumph of 2014 in 10 such decisions.
"It was a deserving win for Stults," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He matched a guy that had us handcuffed after the first inning."
Jedd Gyorko and Yasmani Grandal each drove in a run in the opening inning for the Padres, who have won five of their last seven.
Russell Martin drove in the lone run of the game in the first frame for the Pirates, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Francisco Liriano (3-8) allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings to take the loss.
In an odd set of circumstances, both games in this series have finished with identical final scores and all the runs have been scored in the first inning.
"We knew they could pitch coming in," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
A win today would also give the Pirates their seventh straight series win at PNC Park. Overall at home this season, the Pirates have gone 13-4-1 in their first 18 series.
Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison has a 13-game hitting streak.
08/10 10:28:11 ET