Morton Strong But Rays Fall To Pirates

PORT CHARLOTTE (WDAE) -- Charlie Morton became the first Rays pitch to pitch into the sixth inning Monday, but the two runs he allowed proved to be enough for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who went on to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park.

Both Morton and Pirates starter Nick Kingham kept opposing offenses off the basepaths until the fourth, when JB Shuck singled and stole second base, though Morton faced the minimum after Colin Moran lined into an inning-ending double play.

Ji-Man Choi ended Kingham's stretch with two out in the bottom of the inning with a single of his own.

Both sides kept the game scoreless until the top of the sixth, when Morton walked Jacob Stallings and gave up a base hit to Alfredo Reyes before being relieved by Casey Sadler. Pablo Reyes sacrificed both runners up a base, and Shuck dribbled a broken-bat single to left to bring in both for a 2-0 lead.

Tampa Bay cut the deficit back to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning thanks to a RBI double by Brandon Lowe, his team-leading 14th run batted in this spring, but the Pirates got the insurance run right back against Sadler in the seventh on an RBI single by Stallings, and extended their lead in the ninth against Wilmer Font on a base hit by Pablo Reyes.

2015 first-round pick Garrett Whitley, who missed all of 2018 after undergoing shoulder surgery, got his first hit in a big-league Spring Training game, an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth, but Tampa Bay could get no closer.

The Rays head to Tampa on Tuesday for a matchup against the New York Yankees. Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to start against Luis Cessa, with first pitch slated for 1:05.

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