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Locke finds success with his changeup emerging as his go-to pitch in 7-3 win over Marlins

PIRATES 7 – MARLINS 3
Win: Jeff Locke (3-3)
Loss: Tom Koehler (7-9)
AROUND THE BASE
Josh Harrison had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and Jeff Locke pitched seven innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates (60-53) beat the Miami Marlins (55-58) 7-3 on Wednesday night at PNC Park.
It was a much needed win for the Pirates who played without Neil Walker again and Andrew McCutchen who remains hopeful of avoiding the DL.
Harrison returning to the leadoff spot tonight, went 3-4 with a double, two singles and scored twice. He is batting .309 on the season and is hitting .456 during his 10 game hitting streak with 12 extra base hits.
The Pirates scored four runs in the first inning, highlighted by Ike Davis two-run double with the bases loaded. The Pirates added three runs in the seventh with an RBI single from Russell Martin and a pinch hit double to deep right from Gaby Sanchez that drove in two runs.
Jeff Locke had a shaky start to the game, allowing three runs in the first two innings, but was lights out afterwards, pitching five innings of shutout ball and retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced over his last five innings pitched. Overall Locke gave up six hits, three runs, while striking out seven and walking none.
Locke threw the ball as well as he has all season in the eyes of his manager.
“He ran the table,” Clint Hurdle said of Locke. “Well as he pitched all year. Good command of the fastball. Changeup played again, curveball came into play. All of his pitches were working.”
Last year Locke’s curveball had been his go-to pitch, this season it’s his changeup. When Locke’s changeup is going, it usually means success for him on the mound and it did tonight as he was successful in working the outer and inner edges of the strike zone.
“He’s throwing it better,” Hurdle said. “This year the changeup has moved in front of the curveball as his go-to pitch.”
POST-GAME BUZZ
  • Despite being up four runs and not having an off-day until August 21, Hurdle opted to pitch his top two relievers, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon in the eighth and ninth innings respectively. When it came to Melancon, Hurdle says he likes to keep him in a rhythm.
  • Gerrit Cole will have a bullpen session on Thursday and then it will be determined on what day he will make his third rehab start in Triple-A Indianapolis.
  • The Pirates anticipate Neil Walker being in the lineup Thursday.
  • Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd has been claimed on revocable waivers by an unknown team. The Pirates were interested in Byrd prior to the July 31 deadline.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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