Pirates blank Phillies, while Walker leads offense
Morton allows one hit in three innings; Bucs finish three-hitter with help from replay
PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Morton threw the first three innings of a three-hit shutout and Neil Walker had three hits and an RBI to lead the Pirates past the Phillies, 3-0, on Friday night in the On-Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park.
Cesar Hernandez threatened to give the Phils their fourth hit of the game in the ninth inning, but after he was initially ruled safe with a leadoff infield single, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle asked the umpires to take a look at it, and Hernandez was called out on review.
"By the naked eye I thought he was safe, and then after seeing the review, it looked like it just got him," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It's interesting now to see the replays up on the scoreboard for the whole stadium to see while they are thinking about it. We'll see how that plays out with a full house and games that count. But I think getting the plays right and utilizing the technology that we have today is important."
"We have it all set up, we practiced it, we are ready to go. We are just trying to get it right," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of using replay. "Can't wait to get back to our park and check that out. Went online and took a virtual tour of the setup in New York, which is fantastic. This was a good opportunity, a game-type situation in a visiting park where we'll be in this season, where you have the actual equipment. That was as well as you can replicate it."
In a positive sign for the Phillies, Chase Utley doubled twice as part of a three-hit night. The second baseman hit just .175 in the Grapefruit League. Each of his doubles nearly cleared the fence, and he barely missed a home run on a deep drive to right that hooked foul.
"His timing early on was off," Sandberg said. "As of late, his last 15 at-bats, the contact has been there and he's driven the ball. He found the gaps tonight."
Walker had two singles and a double to finish 3-for-4. He drove in Russell Martin in the sixth after Martin scored Andrew McCutchen with a double to left that broke a scoreless tie. Clint Barmes added insurance in the eighth with a run-scoring single.
Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown saved a run in the fourth, throwing out Martin at home by several feet as the catcher attempted to score from second on a shallow single.
Phillies No. 3 starter Kyle Kendrick fired five scoreless innings in his final tuneup of the exhibition season. The right-hander scattered three hits, striking out two against two walks on 64 pitches. Kendrick is scheduled to start Wednesday in the finale of a three-game season-opening series against the Rangers.
Morton allowed just one hit, struck out one and did not issue a walk in his three scoreless innings. Six Pirates relievers, led by closer Jason Grilli, combined on six shutout frames of two-hit ball.
"I have had better command in my bullpens, and I think it is translating into games," Morton said.
Up next: The Pirates conclude their exhibition schedule with a 1:05 p.m. ET game at Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies on Saturday in a game that can been seen live for free on MLB.TV. Gerrit Cole, who gave up six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings against Baltimore his last time out, will try to improve on that in his final tuneup.