Jeff Locke did not have his best outing as the Pittsburgh Pirates were routed by the San Diego Padres 7-1 in the final game of the four-game series Sunday night. Locke gave up seven runs (six earned) over four innings pitched and was missing his spots all night long. He walked four batters and earned the loss on the night.
Locke was opposed by Odrisamer Despaigne, who tossed eight innings of one run ball, striking out four on his way to earning his third win of the season. The Pirates were only able to get two extra-base hits off of Despaigne all night, including the team’s only run of the night on a Gregory Polanco solo home run in the seventh inning. The 28-year-old Padres’ pitcher is in just his second year in the majors.
San Diego took an early 2-0 lead in the first when second baseman Jedd Gyorko singled to bring in two runs. Locke would give up a hit and walk two batters in the first inning. As it turns out, those would be the only runs San Diego would need in order to secure victory. The Padres would add to their lead in the second, third, and fourth innings to go up 7-0. Polanco’s home run in the seventh would be the only run the Pirates would score all night.
Vance Worley would come in to relieve Locke after the fourth and tossed four innings of shutout baseball, striking out four and walking none.
What Stood Out
Jeff Locke, hoping to build off of his last outing in which he shutout the Miami Marlins over 5.2 innings, returned to the poor form he’s been in for much of this season. He’s allowed at least three runs in seven out of his last eight starts and has failed to last at least six innings in five of those starts. With Jameson Taillon recovering from Tommy John surgery, and both Brandon Cumpton and Nick Kingham going under the knife for that same procedure this season, the Pirates’ starting rotation depth has taken a hit. But Locke has to turn around his game, and fast, if he hopes to remain in the rotation for much longer.
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Francisco Cervelli stood out on a night when the Pirate offense did not. He notched three hits to continue holding the best batting average out of all starting catchers in baseball at .326. Polanco also had two hits, including the only Pirate run of the night. His power is starting to come around as of late.
The game was played at 9:10 PM EST on Sunday night, an odd start time for a baseball game considering it was not the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game. This was due to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon being run in San Diego on Sunday that ended at Petco Park.
The Pittsburgh Pirates (26-24) continue their west coast swing as the team travels to AT&T Park to play the San Francisco Giants. Gerrit Cole (7-2, 2.11 ERA) looks to be the stopper for the Pirates as he opposes veteran and former Pirate Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 4.24 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 10:15 PM EST.