Locke dominant as Pittsburgh Pirates shutout Indians 1-0


The Pittsburgh Pirates celebrated July 4th by taking game two of the weekend series against the Indians by a score of 1-0. Both starting pitchers were dominant on the day, but Jeff Locke was just a little better as the Pirates squeaked out the victory. Locke pitched eight innings of shutout ball, striking out six, walking none, and giving up just two hits. He also only threw 89 pitches, and one can make an argument that he should have gone nine innings. After all, the Indians weren’t able to hit him well all day and the Pirates still don’t have any complete games on the year.

Opposite Locke on the mound was rookie Cody Anderson, making just his third start of the season. Anderson also lasted eight innings, but allowed one run on six hits while striking out four and walking none. His ERA rose to 0.76 on the year and his WHIP now sits at 0.63. Anderson’s even been worth 1.3 wins above replacement this year after making just three starts.

Locke lead off the game by hitting Jason Kipnis in the top of the first, but Francisco Lindor grounded into a double play, ending that threat. In the bottom of the first, Josh Harrison led off with a double and advanced to third on a Neil Walker groundout, but couldn’t score. In the top of the second, Yan Gomes singled to right center, but another double play nullified that. Giovanny Urshela would also single in the inning, but the Indians wouldn’t manage another baserunner off Locke, and wouldn’t get one until the ninth inning.

Harrison doubled again in the bottom of the sixth inning, and a Walker single would score him, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. That would be the only run scored on the day. Locke would leave the game after eight innings and Mark Melancon came in to shut the door. With two outs, he walked Kipnis and then Lindor singled, but Michael Brantley would ground out, sealing the Pirate victory.

What Stood Out

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Jeff Locke had one of the best starts for any Pirate this season, and easily his best start of the year. After the first couple innings, he was dominant, getting players out efficiently. He was able to throw first pitch strikes and 60 of his 89 pitches were for strikes. His ERA now sits at 4.15 on the year.

Offensively there wasn’t much production, but the few hits that were generated came from the top of the order. Harrison had two hits on the day (both for doubles) as his average now sits at .279 on the year. Walker continues to stay hot, as he had the lone RBI on the day. Andrew McCutchen had another hit, running his hit streak to 11 games. Jordy Mercer also had a hit, as he tries to recover from a dreadful start to the season. His average now sits at .246.

What’s Next

The Pittsburgh Pirates (46-34) finish up the three-game series against the Cleveland Indians (38-42) on Sunday at PNC Park. Gerrit Cole (11-3, 2.20 ERA) continues to make a push for the all-star game. He’ll face Danny Salazar (7-3, 3.80 ERA), who gave up just one earned run in his last outing. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 PM.

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