The Times West Virginian

Pirates

May 20, 2013

Locke, Pirates shut down Astros, 1-0

PITTSBURGH — Jeff Locke didn’t have his best stuff Sunday. He didn’t need it to shut down the majors’ worst team.

Locke allowed three hits over seven innings, Pedro Alvarez homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the eighth time in 10 games, 1-0 over the Houston.

Locke (4-1) won his fourth straight decision and gave up one run or fewer for the fifth time in his past eight outings. He struck out four and walked three.

“‘Pitched’ is the imperative word,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Locke. “He was behind a number of counts, his first-pitch strikes were below 50 percent ... but, that being said, he didn’t give up anything. He was able to put a foot down, get balls on the ground when we needed them.”

In his past six outings, Locke has allowed 21 hits and seven earned runs over 37 innings (1.70 ERA). Despite allowing the leadoff man to reach four times, Locke permitted a runner to reach second base only once.

“There were some pitches early on that were real good pitches that I felt I had real good command of, but there were times in the game that I fell behind 1-0, 2-0 and put them in some pretty good hitter’s counts,” Locke said. “But I was able to make pitches and use the defense.”

The notoriously streaky Alvarez pushed his average above .200 for just the second time since the second game of the season. His eighth home run came on the first pitch and was an opposite field line drive down the left field line in the fifth.

Alvarez’s most recent homer was Friday — a titanic shot that reached the Allegheny River. Hurdle quipped that his third baseman followed up arguably his longest career home run with perhaps his shortest.

“I just remember hitting it and knowing that it was going to be fair,” said Alvarez, who also walked in the second and flied out to the wall in center in the seventh. “But I didn’t know if it was going to carry as much as it did.”

Alvarez’s longball — his third in eight games — was the lone mistake by Astros starter Lucas Harrell, who lost his third consecutive decision despite allowing four hits and one walk in seven innings.

Through 6 1-3 innings, Alvarez’s home run and Snider’s double were the only balls to leave the infield off Harrell (3-5), who had a single in a rare plate appearance for an American League pitcher.

“Today felt like the first game this season that I dominated both sides of the plate with my sinker,” Harrell said. “(Catcher Carlos Corporan) did a great job with his homework. He had a really good game plan and I just followed along.”

Pittsburgh’s other chance at scoring came the prior inning, when Travis Snider was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Brandon Barnes on a two-out single by Gaby Sanchez. The throw easily beat

Snider, who had doubled, and Snider’s shoulder to the chest of Corporan did not jar the ball loose.

Off to their best 44-game start since 1991, the Pirates (26-18) have the National League’s third-best record. They won despite the absence of outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who was a late scratch because of soreness in his right knee.

McCutchen said he was put at ease after an examination by medical personnel Sunday and that he expects to play in the Pirates’ next game Tuesday. Hurdle said he could have used McCutchen in an emergency.

A day after his 13-game scoreless streak came to an end, Mark Melancon worked a perfect eighth and Jason Grilli finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his majors-leading 17th save.

The Astros, who won in 11 innings Saturday night, did not have an extra-base hit.

“Their guy (Locke) did a good job,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “He changed speeds, pitched to both sides of the plate and kept us away from the barrel. Sometimes you’ve got to tip your cap and give credit to the other guy.”

NOTES: Astros SS Ronny Cedeno was scratched from the lineup late Sunday morning because of a sinus infection. ...  Houston has won three of its 11 series played this season while Pittsburgh is 8-2-2 in its past 12 series. ... The Pirates are off Monday but then play on 16 consecutive days. They open up a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on Tuesday. ... Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel will make his third start of the season  in the opener of a three-game series in Kansas City today.

1
Text Only
Pirates
  • Pirates shut out by Reds’ Cueto, 4-0

    Johnny Cueto was on his game, and the only thing that the Pirates could do was watch.
    Cueto pitched his third career shutout against the team that beat him in the NL wild card game, and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer that led the Cincinnati Reds over the Pirates 4-0 Wednesday for their first winning series this season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Pirates finish off suspended game, fall in nightcap

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole’s winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.

    April 16, 2014

  • Sanchez throws away easy out, Bucs lose to Brewers

    Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez has practiced the play many times. Scoop a pitch in the dirt on a strikeout, make the throw to first base for an easy out.

    April 14, 2014

  • Brewers edge Pirates for 8th straight win

    Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff homer, Jonathan Lucroy drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Saturday night for their eighth consecutive victory.
    Gomez got Milwaukee started with a 432-foot drive to center field off Edinson Volquez, and Khris Davis scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 in the second.

    April 13, 2014

  • Brewers win 7th straight, beat Pirates, 4-2

    Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer that backed Wily Peralta, and the Milwaukee Brewers extended their winning streak to seven with a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
    Francisco Liriano befuddled the Brewers with his slider over the first three innings before Ramirez sent a 1-2 fastball over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.

    April 12, 2014

  • Alvarez, Pirates hold off Cubs

    Pedro Alvarez stepped to the plate ready to strike in a big spot.
    Once again, he delivered.
    Alvarez hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning and Jason Grilli retired Emilio Bonifacio on a bases-loaded grounder to end the game, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Cubs survive five Pirate homers

    Jason Hammel threw seven strong innings, Anthony Rizzo had four hits, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Wednesday night despite allowing five solo home runs.
    Signed to a one-year, $6 million contract over the offseason, Hammel (2-0) won his Cubs debut when he beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

    April 10, 2014

  • MAIN Cardinals Pirates Bas_time (2).jpg Pirates slip past Cardinals for 2-1 victory

    For his first start with the Pirates, Edinson Volquez beat Adam Wainwright. That’ll do nicely as an early return on that offseason contract he signed with the Pirates.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates’ Taillon set for Tommy John surgery

    Right-hander Jameson Taillon, considered the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top pitching prospect, will have Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season and likely part of 2015.

    April 7, 2014

  • Cards beat Bucs, 6-1, to even series

    Francisco Liriano spent most of the first inning trying to figure out where his fastball was going.
    The St. Louis Cardinals certainly looked like they knew.
    The defending National League champions hit the Pittsburgh ace early then pulled away late for a 6-1 win on Saturday night.

    April 6, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads