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Pirates notebook: Pirates considering Locke for Monday start

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, May 2, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
 

Even though Jeff Locke's numbers are less than impressive during his comeback from an oblique injury, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle mentioned the left-hander as a possible starter Monday against the Giants.

In four starts over 19 innings at Triple-A Indianapolis, Locke is 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA. He pitched one game at Single-A Bradenton, yielding two earned runs in six innings.

Perhaps with an eye toward the future, Locke was lifted after facing one batter in the third inning Thursday during the Indians' 3-2 win over Pawtucket. Locke allowed two earned runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout.

The early exit “gives us another option to look towards on Monday,” said Hurdle, who added that the club is “far from” making any decision.

• Pirates catcher Russell Martin, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring, has begun light workouts. “It's early,” Hurdle said. “It's not like he's coming off (the DL) in a day or two. I think it's quieted down. We wanted to give him a few days to quiet that area down. Now he's started to weight train, condition, the trainers' rehab, all those things are in place. I believe there's some progress being made.” Martin was lifted during an April 25 game in St. Louis with what was described as tightness in his left hamstring. He went on DL the next day. A subsequent MRI showed no further damage.

• After never appearing on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball since PNC Park opened in 2000, the Pirates will be on for at least a second time this season, June 1, against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The first appearance will be May 11 at home against the Cardinals.

— Bob Cohn

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