Pirates 4, Marlins 2

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PITTSBURGH - Charlie Morton got in line with the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff Wednesday night.

The right-hander pitched seven strong innings and Andrew McCutchen hit his 16th home run of the season to lead the National League Central-leading Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Miami Marlins.

Morton (4-3) gave up just two runs and six hits while striking out five and not issuing a walk.

He had been 2-2 with a 4.99 ERA in his last five starts, the only pitcher truly struggling on a staff that leads the major leagues with a 3.06 ERA. The Pirates have not topped the major leagues in ERA for an entire season since 1984.

Tom Koehler (3-7) lost for just the second time in his last seven starts, allowing three runs and four hits in five innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.

McCutchen had two hits as Pittsburgh also had just six hits but improved to 8-2 on its season-long 11-game homestand that ends Thursday. The Pirates' 69-44 record is the best in the major leagues, coming on the heels of 20 consecutive losing seasons.

Mark Melancon, subbing for injured closer Jason Grilli, worked around a leadoff single to pitch a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

Koehler did not get much run support from a Marlins offense that is last in the major leagues in scoring. Rookie leadoff hitter Christian Yelich had two of the Marlins' seven hits.

Florida lost its fourth straight game in falling to an NL-worst 43-69.

Morton left for a pinch-hitter with the Pirates leading 3-2 but they added an insurance run in the eighth inning on Pedro Alvarez's sacrifice fly.

The Pirates pulled ahead 3-2 with a two-run fifth inning that was aided by two wild pitches by Koehler. Morton's line single tied it and Jordy Mercer scored the go-ahead run on Koehler's second wild pitch.

Miami took a 2-0 lead in the fourth as Donovan Solano blooped an RBI single, and another run scored when Adeiny Hechavarria grounded into a double play.

McCutchen hit his solo home run with one out in the fourth to draw the Pirates to 2-1.

The start of the game was delayed 36 minutes by rain.

NOTES: Pittsburgh LHP Wandy Rodriguez threw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since making a rehab start June 23 against for Triple-A Indianapolis and is scheduled to intensify his throwing Saturday. He has been on the disabled list since June 6 with a strained left forearm. ... Pirates INF/OF Josh Harrison made his second start of the season in right field one night after hitting a pinch-hit walk-off home run off Miami LHP Mike Dunn. ... The series concludes on Thursday afternoon with a matchup of rookies as Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (8-5, 2.54) faces Pittsburgh RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.69). Fernandez has broken the franchise rookie strikeout record in each of his last two starts, notching 13 whiffs against the Pirates on July 28 and 14 against Cleveland last Friday. ... McCutchen's mother, Petrina, sang the national anthem.