Pirates 4, Reds 0

Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton continued his dominance at Great American Ball Park, allowing just three hits in 5 1/3 innings, and Pedro Alvarez's two-run single in the first inning provided more than enough run support for Pittsburgh in a 4-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Morton (1-1) has given up just one run in his past three starts in Cincinnati, including two complete games. He struck out two and did not walk a batter Tuesday.
Reds starter Mat Latos (6-1) allowed three runs, all in the first inning, and fanned nine, but his streak of 21 straight starts without a loss came to an end. Latos' previous defeat came on Aug, 24, 2012.
The Pirates, who were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Monday's series opener, went 3-for-9 with in those situations Tuesday, including Starling Marte's RBI single in the seventh inning that capped the scoring.
Morton, who was making his second start since returning from the disabled list, exited in the sixth after 61 pitches. The Bucs bullpen took over from there.
Pirates left-hander Tony Watson pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. Mike Melancon pitched one inning with two strikeouts, and Jason Grilli fanned three of the four batters he faced in the ninth.
Reds pitchers struck out 17 batters Tuesday night, tying a season high.
First baseman Joey Votto had two of Cincinnati's four hits, including a double.
Latos needed 32 pitches to get through the first inning.
Marte led off with a triple, then scored on Russell Martin's infield hit, putting the Pirates ahead 1-0.
After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Alvarez singled into the left field corner, driving home two runs to make the score 3-0.
Morton hit Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch leading off the first in what might have been retaliation for a head-high fastball delivered by Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to Neil Walker in the ninth inning of Monday's game. Latos was seen yelling something toward the Pirates dugout after Choo got plunked.
Latos responded after that, retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced, eight via strikeout. He exited after five innings with 88 pitches.
Morton, who'd given up just one run in his previous two starts at Great American Ball Park, didn't allow a hit until Votto's single with two outs in the fourth.
NOTES: Pirates 2B Neil Walker has reached base in 17 straight games at Great American Ball Park. ... Choo has been hit by a pitch 19 times this season, five shy of the club record set by Jason LaRue in 2004. ... Jordy Mercer started at shortstop for the Pirates for the fourth straight game. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips had a nine-game hitting streak against Pittsburgh, including seven multi-hit games, before he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Tuesday. ... The Pirates signed Reese McGuire, their top choice and the 14th overall pick in this year's draft. McGuire, a left-handed hitting catcher from Kentwood (Wash.) High School, is being assigned to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates.

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