New Castle News

Pirates

July 22, 2013

Pirates Baseball: Bucs salvage final game from Reds

CINCINNATI — Jeff Locke broke into a grin before taking any questions.

“Happy to be back,” the left-hander said.

No one’s happier than the Pittsburgh Pirates, who used their formula from a highly successful first half — great pitching, just enough scoring — to salvage the final game of their series with Cincinnati Reds yesterday. Locke allowed only an infield single through six innings of a 3-2 victory.

Second-place Pittsburgh left town with a three-game cushion over the NL Central-rival Reds, who won the first two games.

“There’s still a lot of games left, but to get this final game is big,” said Garrett Jones, who homered off Homer Bailey. “Every game matters.”

Locke (9-2) and the majors’ second-stingiest bullpen limited the Reds to three singles, but issued seven walks and let a run score on a wild pitch. Jason Grilli worked the ninth for his 30th save in 31 chances. His only blown save came in Cincinnati on June 19.

Locke had to miss his last scheduled start and couldn’t pitch in the All-Star game because of a sore back. There were no problems when he got back on the mound.

“The back was great,” Locke said.

Bailey (5-9) struck out a career-high 12 but remained winless since his no-hitter against San Francisco at Great American Ball Park this month. Jones hit his second homer in two games, and the Pirates added a pair of runs in the seventh.

“That was the best I’ve ever seen Bailey,” Jones said. “His velocity was up, his cutter was nasty and he was hitting his spots well.”

The Pirates hit six homers during the series, all solo shots. It underscored their main concern as trade talks intensify: Can they score enough runs to make the playoffs?

“I’m just one of the pieces that need to pick it up,” said Jones, who has 10 homers after hitting a career-high 27 last year. “I had a slow first half and this is the time to hit and be productive and help your team win.”

The Ohio River rivals don’t meet again until September, when they play each other six times in the last nine games. Both hope they have a lot at stake when they get back together — the Reds trying for a second straight NL Central title, the Pirates trying to end their 20-year streak of losing records and reach the postseason for the first time since 1992.

They came away from their weekend series bunched a bit closer in their chase of division-leading St. Louis.

Bailey threw the first of his two no-hitters last Sept. 28 in Pittsburgh, a 1-0 win over a team he has dominated during his career. He threw his second no-hitter on July 2. Since then, he’s started three games — two on the road — and gone 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA.

Locke’s performance was encouraging for the Pirates, who have stayed in contention despite injuries in the rotation. Shin-Soo Choo’s infield single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.

Locke walked a pair and threw a wild pitch that let in a run in the fifth inning. He lowered his ERA to 2.11.

“What did he leave with, one hit?” manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s good stuff.”

The Reds got another run in the eighth when Joey Votto grounded into a double play with the bases loaded against Mark Melancon, ending the reliever’s streak of 15 scoreless innings. It was Cincinnati’s best chance to pull off the three-game sweep.

“It hurts when you have opportunities like that,” manager Dusty Baker said. “You hope you’re going to blow it open.”

First baseman Gaby Sanchez, a late defensive replacement, started the double play, with Melancon covering first to take the relay and finish it.

“That’s as good a double play as we’ve made all year in a tight situation,” Hurdle said.

Pittsburgh scored twice in the seventh on Jordy Mercer’s single and Jose Tabata’s pinch-hit single off Bailey, who threw 121 pitches.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pirates
  • Pirates Rockies Baseb_Fusc.jpg Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1

    Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.

     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsbur‘gh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • cutch.tiff Pirates Baseball: Resilient Bucs looking for post All-Star surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day — if still heated — pennant race. A season after shedding the yoke of two decades of failure with a stirring run to a playoff berth, the Pirates are just another solid if not spectacular team trying to keep pace in the jam-packed NL Central.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Harrison.tiff Pirates Baseball: Three Bucs named to All-Star team

    Here are the rosters for the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday, July 15, at Target Field in Minneapolis. Three Pittsburgh Pirates were chosen to play in the game — outfields Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison, and pitcher Tony Watson.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Pirates Baseball: Locke leads Bucs past Phils, Burnett

    Jeff Locke spent a lot of time with A.J. Burnett last year, and then faced his mentor in a pitching matchup in Pittsburgh. Locke got the best of Burnett yesterday in Pittsburgh’s 6-2 victory that finished off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

    July 7, 2014

  • Harrison.tiff Pirates Baseball: Harrison gets big hit, Bucs trade Grilli

    Josh Harrison got the game-winning hit and yet all anyone wanted to ask him about was how he wriggled out of that wild rundown an inning earlier.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 849-1iriYz.St.55.jpg Pirates Baseball: McCutchen has 2 RBIs, Bucs beat Rays

    The Pittsburgh Pirates came out on top in their latest one-run game. Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs, Jeff Locke pitched into the eighth inning, and the Pirates beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 last night.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bucs4.tiff Photos, Video, Story: Pittsburgh Pirates visit local students

    The Pittsburgh Pirates adopted the entire fourth-grade class at George Washington Intermediate Elementary School yesterday. It was a perfect match because it was obvious that the 220 students in the auditorium had clearly embraced the black and gold as their baseball team long ago.

    December 12, 2013 5 Photos

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results