After looking sloppy in a 9-7 loss in Washington Thursday afternoon--including three errors by the defense in the first inning and five runs allowed by the usually stellar bullpen over the last two--and listless in a 2-0 loss to the cellar-dwelling Marlins, Friday night--including going 0-6 with runners in scoring position--the Pirates actually looked like a team with the second best record in MLB, Saturday night, pounding out 14 hits (including six in 17 attempts with runners in scoring position) and defeating the Marlins, 7-4, to improve to 20 games over .500 at 61-41.
Back up catcher Michael Mckenry paced the offensive attack by tallying four hits in five at-bats and driving in two runs. Neil Walker and Garrett Jones heavily contributed as well, going a combined five for nine and driving in four runs.
Pitcher Charlie Morton earned the win after giving up four runs in five innings, and the bullpen returned to its dominant ways, combining to shut Florida down over the last four innings.
The Pirates look to take the rubber game of the series, Sunday afternoon, before returning to Pittsburgh for the epic five-game series against division leading St. Louis, starting Monday night.
The win proved to be quite timely for the Pirates, as St. Louis and Cincinnati both lost. Pittsburgh moved to within one and a half games of the first place Cardinals in the NL Central and three and a half games clear of the third place Reds.