Jeff Locke (3-1, 2.95 ERA) allowed 3 hits and 1 earned run in 6 innings pitched Thursday night, a 3-2 Pirates (18-16) loss to the New York Mets. Locke gave up only 3 singles in the game and has allowed just 4 earned runs in his last four starts, a span of 24 innings as the lefty has been a pleasant surprise for the Pirates. One area that stood out with Locke was him throwing 18 first pitch strikes to 23 batters he faced. His manager took notice. “Today he was very effective,” manager Clint Hurdle said of Locke’s outing vs the Mets. “With all those right handers in the lineup, one left handed hitter, the first-pitch strike count was excellent.”