The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 29, 2013

Locke muffles Cardinals in Pirates’ 9-0 win

ST. LOUIS — It was a milestone day for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who took the NL Central lead for the first time since last July and reached 15 wins in April for the first time since 1992.

Manager Clint Hurdle thought his 700th career victory was a footnote at best, considering he has 808 losses. Players gave him a toast all the same.

“It means you’re gifted and blessed with the opportunity to do this for a while,” Hurdle said after the Pirates beat the Cardinals 9-0 Sunday for a series win and the division lead. “You don’t talk about the other number because the other number is bigger.”

Rookie Jeff Locke gave a salute to his manager after pitching seven innings of three-hit ball and Russell Martin had two of Pittsburgh’s four home runs.

“It’s special to be the guy on the mound that day,” Locke said. “I was awfully happy for him, and it’s not the last one.”

Garrett Jones had three hits and John McDonald had a key bloop RBI double for Pittsburgh, which ended rookie Shelby Miller’s streak of 14 scoreless innings at home to start the season. The Pirates have won nine of 12 overall and have the division lead for the first time since July 8, leapfrogging St. Louis for first place.

“It helps us believe we have the team we think we have,” Martin said. “The key is to be consistent and do it every day, and we’ve been doing it every day.”

Locke (3-1) has worked 13 scoreless innings while allowing five hits his last two starts. The Cardinals got just three singles and advanced two runners into scoring position against the 25-year-old left-hander, who earned the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong spring.

Justin Wilson allowed a walk the last two innings to wrap up the Pirates’ fifth shutout, tied for the league lead with St. Louis and San Francisco. All of them have been collaborations.

The Cardinals lost consecutive games for the first time this season, managing just 11 hits. They didn’t get much going against Locke after some hard outs the first time through the order.

“It looked like good things were going to be coming the second time through,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He mixed it up, kept us off-balance, and just shut us down.”

Miller (3-2) struggled to put away hitters and was taken out after 113 pitches and giving up two homers in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out seven, one off his season best, and was charged with a three runs after John McDonald greeted Fernando Salas with a well-placed pop fly that barely dropped in for an RBI double.

The 22-year-old rookie, who entered among the NL leaders with a 1.44 ERA, said he simply left too many pitches up.

“I probably can’t even count on my fingers how many balls I threw down in the zone,” Miller said. “The ball might have been carrying a little bit, but that’s no excuse.

“I’m still getting hit hard, they were seeing the ball well.”

Left fielder Matt Holliday took a circuitous route and just missed a diving catch with the ball deflecting off his left wrist, and Brandon Inge scored from first on a close play at the plate for a 3-0 lead.

Martin hit his fourth homer with a 412-foot drive to straightaway center in the second. He doubled off the right-field fence in the fourth for his fourth straight extra-base hit, two of them homers, then added a two-run shot to cap a five-run ninth.

It was the seventh career multi-homer game and first since June 10-12, 2012, for the Yankees against the Mets for Martin, who’s hitting .409 since April 15 and batting .267 overall after going hitless in 17 at-bats his first seven games.

“I think it’s just the law of averages,” Martin said. “Everything that happened earlier in the year is now going my way right now.

“Balls that are pretty much left over the plate, I’m not missing right now.”

Tabata lined a 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall in the fifth for his first homer, giving him a hit in 21 of 23 career games at Busch Stadium.

Jones’ second homer and first in 50 at-bats since April 8 barely cleared Shane Robinson’s leaping attempt the wall in the seventh to make it 4-0. First base umpire Laz Diaz initially ruled no homer, but it was quickly overturned after the Pirates appealed.

Mitchell Boggs allowed two hits and a run-scoring groundout by Gaby Sanchez in the ninth, and was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning. Boggs lost the closer’s job earlier this month and has allowed 15 earned runs in 10 2-3 innings.

Boggs and Matheny both thought the pitcher deserved better this time. After deconstructing his outing, Boggs struck a note of defiance.

“Yeah, it’s hard to be positive, but at the same time you have to do everything you can to fight every single day and I’m doing that,” Boggs said. “If anybody can’t see that, they’re crazy.”

NOTES: Adam Wainwright (4-1, 1.93) goes for his fifth win in as many starts in the opener of a three-game series against the Reds and Mat Latos (1-0, 2.16). ... The Pirates are 4-0 in starts by Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 1.66) entering a three-game series at Milwaukee and Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 4.97). ... Jason Grilli is the first Pirates pitcher to earn 10 saves in April since Mike Williams also had 10 in 2002.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Morgan Hoke -ts.jpg Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS

    Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
    Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
    Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.

    April 24, 2014 8 Photos

  • Falcons set for spring game

    Football is back … well, kind of.
    Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Hillberry commits to Wesleyan

    Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
    Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • North, East softball earn blowout wins

    The North Marion softball team was at it again Wednesday night.
    Mattie Polling tripled and singled, starting pitcher Chelsi Latocha doubled and gave up just one hit as the Huskies rolled to another 3-inning mercy-rule victory over Lewis County, 18-1.

    April 24, 2014

  • Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2

    Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
    Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus

    Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • FSHS #32, 29-BU #15-TS.jpg Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS

    They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.

    April 23, 2014 7 Photos

  • Gabbi Mascaro Signing -md.jpg Mascaro signs with FSU

    Gabi Mascaro is staying in Fairmont.
    After considering several out-of-state colleges, the Fairmont Senior soccer standout signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to continue her career at Fairmont State University, an upstart program which will play its first games in 2015.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos