Pirates 2, Phillies 0
Jeff Locke finally put it all together while the Phillies
offense continued its season-long search for answers.
Locke pitched six strong innings of two-hit ball and Gaby
Sanchez homered off Cole Hamels to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over
Philadelphia 2-0 on Tuesday night.
”That’s his best big league performance,” Pirates manager
Clint Hurdle said of Locke, who was making his 14th career start.
”That was six innings of big league pitching. He made pitches; he
flat-out made pitches.”
Locke (2-1) struck out six and walked two. After wriggling out
of a jam in the fourth, he retired his last eight batters –
striking out three of the final four.
”It all just clicked today,” Locke said. ”The big thing is I
was able to get ahead, something I’ve stressed the last few starts.
It’s great to compete and get through it and know that you can do
Sanchez also doubled and Brandon Inge had an RBI double in his
Pirates debut to help Pittsburgh win for the fifth time in seven
”It was good for everybody and good for him,” Hurdle said of
After opening the season with a pair of poor outings, Hamels
(0-3) pitched well for the third straight start but was hurt by a
lack of run support again. In eight innings, the left-hander gave
up two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
”Just being able to really get in a groove and go deep in the
ballgame was something I was pleased with,” Hamels said. ”My
pitches felt really good and I had a clean feel of making my
pitches. I was pretty happy, but obviously with the results I want
the team to win.”
Philadelphia, which has scored three runs or fewer in 13 of 21
games, managed just four hits and had 11 strikeouts against Locke
and three relievers.
”I think they’re trying, maybe a little bit too hard,”
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of his hitters. ”But you have
to get it done. (Locke) was aggressive with us, kind of challenged
us. He came right at us, really. I thought we were going to hit
some fastballs, if you want to know the truth, but we didn’t.”
”We have to improve our game,” Manuel added. ”We have to hit
some of those fastballs, yes.”
Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an
eighth-inning single for the Phillies, who were shut out for the
third time this season.
Jason Grilli pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight
chances. Grilli hasn’t given up a run and has allowed just three
hits with 15 strikeouts in nine innings this season.
Philadelphia appeared poised to score against Locke when John
Mayberry Jr. led off the fourth with a triple and Locke hit Domonic
Brown with a pitch to put runners on first and third with none
But Mayberry, running on contact, was tagged out trying to score
on Ben Revere’s weakly hit grounder to third and Erik Kratz hit
into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to keep Philadelphia
It’s been a theme for much of the season for the Phillies.
Manuel has tinkered with the lineup and remains hopeful that this
core of mostly proven hitters will turn things around.
”I try to think of things all the time to change, but I don’t
see where I can change very much,” he said. ”We just have to come
out here and keep working and keep at it and hope we improve and do
Locke didn’t allow another batter to reach base before turning
the game over to Pittsburgh’s stingy bullpen, which entered third
in the majors with a 1.94 ERA. The Pirates improved to 10-0 when
leading after the seventh inning.
”I just wanted to go out there to compete and have fun,” Locke
said. ”It was definitely my best outing and certainly the most
”I have confidence in the guys and they have confidence in me
and that’s a great feeling to have.”
NOTES: Pittsburgh C Russell Martin extended his hitting streak
to eight games with an eighth-inning single. … Left fielder
Starling Marte’s second-inning error on Revere’s liner snapped an
errorless streak of 41 1-3 innings for the Pirates. … Phillies
second baseman Chase Utley didn’t start, but struck out while
pinch-hitting in the eighth. He remained in the game in the ninth.
… Philadelphia RHP Roy Halladay (2-2, 6.04 ERA) is scheduled to
face Pirates lefty Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 0.56) on Wednesday night
in the third game of the four-game series.