Morton, Pirates top Padres

San Diego, CA ( - Charlie Morton threw seven strong innings and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates topped the San Diego Padres, 5-2, in the third portion of a four-game series.

Morton (2-0), who was making his second start after beginning the season on the disabled list while recovering from right hip surgery, gave up three hits and two runs -- one earned.

"He was on tonight. We just couldn't solve him," Padres manager Bud Black said of Morton.

Tony Watson struck out the side in the eighth and Mark Melancon threw the ninth for his 13th save in Pittsburgh's ninth win in 12 games.

With the game tied 2-2, the Pirates filled the bases in the sixth. Pedro Alvarez doubled, Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch, and Jordy Mercer legged out an infield hit when Cory Spangenberg made a diving stop on a ball hit up the middle. Morton then hit a slow bouncer to second that plated the go-ahead run.

Andrew McCutchen doubled in Josh Harrison in the ninth, and Starling Marte's check-swing bouncer to first scored Gregory Polanco for the fifth run.

Tyson Ross (2-5) surrendered seven hits and three runs -- two earned -- over six innings for the Padres.

Neil Walker singled in McCutchen in the first inning, but Yangervis Solarte doubled in a run in the bottom half.

Mercer scored on Harrison's base hit in the second, but the Padres tied the score in the fourth. Matt Kemp and Derek Norris singled with one out. Spangenberg then hit a ball to Alvarez at first. His throw to second to start the double play bounced off the helmet of Norris and into left field to score the tying run.

Morton retired the final ten batters he faced, including the final eight on ground balls.

"The sinker had really good life," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "In the first inning the adrenaline was flowing. The curveball was sharp. His pace on the mound was very good."

Game Notes

In the last nine games, the Bucco starting pitchers have gone 8-0 ... The Pirates left 10 men on base, compared to three for the Padres ... Ross is just 1-5 since a victory over San Francisco on April 12 and the Padres are a mere 2-7 over those nine starts. However, he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of those outings.