The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Pro

July 21, 2013

Bucs salvage win behind Locke

CINCINNATI — Jeff Locke broke into a grin before taking any questions.

“Happy to be back,” the left-hander said.

No one’s happier than the Pittsburgh Pirates, who used their formula from a highly successful first half – great pitching, just enough scoring – to salvage the final game of their series with Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. Locke allowed only an infield single through six innings of a 3-2 victory.

Second-place Pittsburgh left town with a three-game cushion over the NL Central-rival Reds, who won the first two games.

“There’s still a lot of games left, but to get this final game is big,” said Garrett Jones, who homered off Homer Bailey. “Every game matters.”

Locke (9-2) and the majors’ second-stingiest bullpen limited the Reds to three singles, but issued seven walks and let a run score on a wild pitch. Jason Grilli worked the ninth for his 30th save in 31 chances. His only blown save came in Cincinnati on June 19.

Locke had to miss his last scheduled start and couldn’t pitch in the All-Star game because of a sore back. There were no problems when he got back on the mound.

“The back was great,” Locke said.

Bailey (5-9) struck out a career-high 12 but remained winless since his no-hitter against San Francisco at Great American Ball Park this month. Jones hit his second homer in two games, and the Pirates added a pair of runs in the seventh.

“That was the best I’ve ever seen Bailey,” Jones said. “His velocity was up, his cutter was nasty and he was hitting his spots well.”

The Pirates hit six homers during the series, all solo shots. It underscored their main concern as trade talks intensify: Can they score enough runs to make the playoffs?

“I’m just one of the pieces that need to pick it up,” said Jones, who has 10 homers after hitting a career-high 27 last year. “I had a slow first half and this is the time to hit and be productive and help your team win.”

The Ohio River rivals don’t meet again until September, when they play each other six times in the last nine games. Both hope they have a lot at stake when they get back together – the Reds trying for a second straight NL Central title, the Pirates trying to end their 20-year streak of losing records and reach the postseason for the first time since 1992.

They came away from their weekend series bunched a bit closer in their chase of division-leading St. Louis.

Bailey threw the first of his two no-hitters last Sept. 28 in Pittsburgh, a 1-0 win over a team he has dominated during his career. He threw his second no-hitter on July 2. Since then, he’s started three games – two on the road – and gone 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA.

Locke’s performance was encouraging for the Pirates, who have stayed in contention despite injuries in the rotation.

Shin-Soo Choo’s infield single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.

Locke walked a pair and threw a wild pitch that let in a run in the fifth inning. He lowered his ERA to 2.11.

“What did he leave with, one hit?” manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s good stuff.”

The Reds got another run in the eighth when Joey Votto grounded into a double play with the bases loaded against Mark Melancon, ending the reliever’s streak of 15 scoreless innings. It was Cincinnati’s best chance to pull off the three-game sweep.

“It hurts when you have opportunities like that,” manager Dusty Baker said. “You hope you’re going to blow it open.”

First baseman Gaby Sanchez, a late defensive replacement, started the double play, with Melancon covering first to take the relay and finish it.

“That’s as good a double play as we’ve made all year in a tight situation,” Hurdle said.

Pittsburgh scored twice in the seventh on Jordy Mercer’s single and Jose Tabata’s pinch-hit single off Bailey, who threw 121 pitches.

Notes: The Pirates continue their 10-game trip with the first of four games in Washington. The Reds begin an 11-game trip to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. They’re in a stretch of playing 18 of 21 on the road. ... Bailey fanned 10 during his no-hitter in Pittsburgh and nine during his no-hitter against the Giants. ... The Reds plan to call up RHP Greg Reynolds from Triple-A Louisville to start one of their doubleheader games in San Francisco on Tuesday. Reynolds, a California native who played at Stanford, started 16 games for Colorado in 2008 and 2011.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro
  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads