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SF@PIT: Morton dominates the Giants over eight frames

When Charlie Morton starts, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle can tell the bullpen to relax.

That's been the story of late for the Bucs hurler, who hasn't pitched fewer than six innings since June 2.

Morton's recent starts have varied in performance, but he has consistently eaten innings for the Pirates. In his last nine games, he is only 3-3 but has averaged nearly 6 2/3 innings per outing.

Morton will look to continue that streak and give his Pirates a sweep of the Giants on Wednesday when he faces San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, who did not have the same kind of longevity as Morton in his last outing.

After throwing two-thirds of an inning in the Giants' 14-inning victory against the Phillies on July 22, Lincecum was lit up to the tune of six runs on nine hits against the Dodgers in his last start. Linceum lasted only 4 1/3 innings -- tied for his second-shortest start of the season.

Morton may have the upper hand in Wednesday's game, as the Giants' offense has struggled lately. In their 13 home games in July, they have averaged only 2.4 runs per game.

Morton dominated the Giants in his one outing against them this season, pitching eight innings -- his longest performance of the season -- while giving up one unearned run against them May 6.

Pirates: Marte has first post-concussion workout
Outfielder Starling Marte had his first on-field workout Tuesday after going on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Colorado pitcher Adam Ottavino hit Marte in the head with a pitch July 18, and the Pirates put Marte on the list five days later.

Marte said he felt fine after the workout, and he is eligible to come off the list Wednesday, though he's still not ready for that.

"He shagged balls, took [batting practice], ran the bases," Hurdle said before Tuesday's 3-1 victory over the Giants. "We'll see how he functions through the evening and how he feels tomorrow. Today was a good day to build some momentum."

Marte has struggled through his sophomore campaign. His batting average (.255) is 25 points lower than his mark last year, and his OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) is down from .784 last season to .713 now.

Giants: Uggla off to rough start
When the Giants signed second baseman Dan Uggla off the free-agent scrap heap last week, it looked like a no-risk, possible-reward pickup for a playoff contender that needed a shot in the arm.

Through his first four games, Uggla has yet to give the Giants any type of reward.

So far, Uggla is 0-for-11 in a Giants uniform with six strikeouts, and he has made three errors in the field. The only time the former All-Star reached base was when he drew a walk Sunday.

With rookie Joe Panik adjusting to Major League pitching and Marco Scutaro still suffering from back problems, the bar isn't high for Uggla, but his early performance for the Giants may force the team to look for other second-base options approaching Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Worth noting
• The Giants have lost the first five games of a homestand for the first time since losing all five games when AT&T Park opened from April 11-15, 2000. Comments