Charlie Morton wants to change the context of his starts. He does not want to measure his performance against the backdrop of his recovery from Tommy John surgery. He wants to judge himself in the closest thing to a vacuum as possible.

"I'd like to base where I am off of what I did last start" Morton said.

If Morton keeps pitching the way he has his previous start will keep the bar high. Morton performed well again Monday afternoon in a 5-2 win against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. The win gave the Pirates 80 in a season for the first time since 1992.

Their next win will guarantee a .500 or above finish for the first time since that season.

The Pirates have won four of their past six games after losing three in a row.

Morton improved to 7-3 after his sixth consecutive good start. He allowed two runs one earned and seven hits in seven innings.

He walked two and struck out six.

"Guys have to respect his velocity guys have to respect his sink" said Neil Walker who hit a three-run homer. "When he's getting them with two strikes he's mixing in that breaking ball and that split. He's pretty tough when he's ahead in the count."

Morton worked masterfully with his curveball once he found it later in the game. He struck out the side in the sixth on 10 pitches using the curveball as the final pitch of each at-bat.
In the seventh after an error gave the Brewers a run and a man on third Morton used the curveball to strike out Jonathan Lucroy and end the inning.