Morton struggled with his release point in his start against the Cardinals last week, allowing 10 hits and five runs in six innings. Morton has allowed 19 hits over his past 11 innings. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Morton is working through some mechanical refinement. Despite the hits, Morton is doing several things well, posting one of the league's best groundball rates (63.4 percent) and a career-best fastball average velocity (93.2 mph).
• The Pirates' offense produced five runs and nine hits in five innings against Tom Koehler last month in Miami. Righties and lefties are hitting right-handed Koehler equally well this season.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington said it's unlikely Jameson Taillon pitches for the Pirates this season in a relief role like David Price had as a rookie with the Rays in 2008. Taillon made his first Triple-A start Monday. He allowed three hits, three walks and three runs in five innings, striking out five.
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