Pirates defeat Phillies, 3-0

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PHILADELPHIA -- Starter Charlie Morton was sharp in his three innings of work, and the Pirates defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-0, at Citizens Bank Park in the next to last exhibition game of the spring.

Gerrit Cole will start the finale at 1:05 p.m. today. The Pirates open the season Monday against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.

Morton game up just one hit -- a double by Chase Utley in the first -- but did not let another batter reach base, while throwing 23 of his 29 pitches for strikes.

Neil Walker was 3 for 4 with a double for the Pirates, and Andrew McCutchen scored the winning run when reached on a force-out in the sixth, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Russell Martin’s double. Walker then singled to score Martin.

Clint Barmes singled home another run in the eighth after Gaby Sanchez doubled.

Manager Clint Hurdle challenged a ruling on the field in the ninth inning, when Cesar Hernandez beat out an infield single on a ground ball to short. Hurdle won the challenge, as the replays showed that Gift Ngoepe’s throw beat Hernandez.

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