The fifth starter spot is on the line and Jeff Locke is one of the top candidates. Against an Orioles lineup that won’t be confused with their Opening Day lineup, Locke was hit hard. Here was the Orioles lineup:
Alexi Casilla SS
Lew Ford CF
Conor Jackson 1B
Steve Pearce DH
Russ Canzler RF
Danny Valencia 3B
Yamaico Navarro 2B
LJ Hoes LF
Luis Exposito C
It didn’t help that the Bucs had a Neil Walker double as their only support for the southpaw during his 3.1 innings of work. The Pirates lineup of Starling Marte, Jose Tabata Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Gaby Sanchez, Felix Pie, Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry did nothing against Orioles starter Jake Arrieta.
Locke allowed eight hits including a bomb off the bat of Lew Ford. Phil Irwin got Locke out of a jam in the fourth by coming in and striking out both batters he faced in the inning stranding runners at second and third.
The Orioles starter was announced late, but that didn’t hinder him from going four innings, striking out five and allowing just two hits–a Marte single was the only other hit off Arrieta.
One of these days the Bucs offense is going to come to life. Right?