TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Diamondbacks hammer Locke, Pirates, 15-5

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle removes starting pitcher Jeff Locke from the game against the Diamondbacks during the first inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates manager Clint Hurdle removes starting pitcher Jeff Locke from the game against the Diamondbacks during the first inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argues with first-base umpire Mike Estabrook during the eighth inning against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argues with first-base umpire Mike Estabrook during the eighth inning against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen makes a leaping catch to rob the Diamondbacks' Gerardo Parra during the second inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen makes a leaping catch to rob the Diamondbacks' Gerardo Parra during the second inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Diamondbacks' Didi Gregorius scores past Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Diamondbacks' Didi Gregorius scores past Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez rounds the bases after homering against the Diamondbacks during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez rounds the bases after homering against the Diamondbacks during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata makes a diving catch to rob the Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata makes a diving catch to rob the Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates second baseman Neil Walker strikes out with the bases loaded against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates second baseman Neil Walker strikes out with the bases loaded against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke delivers against the Diamondbacks during the first inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke delivers against the Diamondbacks during the first inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez watches his home run against the Diamondbacks during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez watches his home run against the Diamondbacks during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez celebrates in front of Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen after homering against the Diamondbacks during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez celebrates in front of Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen after homering against the Diamondbacks during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates second baseman Neil Walker strikes out with the bases loaded against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates second baseman Neil Walker strikes out with the bases loaded against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates left fielder Starling Marte reacts to being hit by a pitch against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates left fielder Starling Marte reacts to being hit by a pitch against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez tags out the Diamondbacks' Gerardo Parra during the fourth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez tags out the Diamondbacks' Gerardo Parra during the fourth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Diamondbacks' Martin Prado celebrates his home run with A.J. Pollock during the third inning against the Pirates on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Diamondbacks' Martin Prado celebrates his home run with A.J. Pollock during the third inning against the Pirates on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata makes a diving catch to rob the Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata makes a diving catch to rob the Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt during the third inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata drives in a run with a single against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata drives in a run with a single against the Diamondbacks during the sixth inning Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at PNC Park.

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Unlocked

Jeff Locke, before and after the All-Star break this season:

Starts W-L ERA WHIP

First half 18 8-2 2.15 1.13

Second half 6 1-2 5.58 2.02

'American Coyotes' Series

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.

Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 8:09 p.m.
 

The Pirates will face an interesting decision if Wandy Rodriguez rejoins the starting rotation in September. Who will move to the bullpen?

Will it be Gerrit Cole, a rookie whose workload already is being restricted to prevent burnout? Or should it be Jeff Locke, an All-Star who's in the midst of what is becoming a worrisome second-half funk?

Locke was rocked for eight runs in 2 23 innings Saturday in a 15-5 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“A little bit of an eye-opener for me,” Locke said. “Everything kind of hit the fan early.”

In the first half of the season, Locke went 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA. That earned the left-hander a trip to the All-Star Game, although he did not pitch due to a sore back.

In six starts since the All-Star break, Locke is 1-2 with a 5.58 ERA.

Locke labored from the start against the Diamondbacks, allowing two runs in a 27-pitch first inning. He faced nine batters in the third — he got two outs on four pitches, then yielded seven consecutive hits. The big blows were a two-run single by pitcher Trevor Cahill and a three-run homer by Martin Prado.

“Short on stuff today and short on command,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It's a rough combination.”

Perhaps Locke could use some extra rest? A week ago, before a game in which Locke allowed one run in 5 23 innings against Colorado, general manager Neal Huntington said it's an option. After the game Saturday, Hurdle was noncommittal.

“I'll talk to Neal and talk to Jeff,” Hurdle said. “We'll get back to you on that.”

Locke insisted he doesn't need extra rest.

“Absolutely not,” Locke said. “But if that's the route they take, that's their decision. I'm sure I'll be involved in that decision, as well. But it's nothing I'm looking for or want. I want to keep everything as normal as possible.”

The Pirates already are going that route with Cole (6-5, 3.88). Last week, his turn was pushed back a few days to Friday.

Hurdle wants to curb Cole's outings without disrupting the other starters and without yanking someone out of the bullpen for spot starts. He can do that by taking advantage of remaining off days on Aug. 26, Sept. 5 and Sept. 26.

“I'm anticipating we'll go back to a five-man rotation in succession from this point up to the next off day,” Hurdle said Saturday afternoon.

If he stays in the rotation, Cole figures to make five more starts. That would put him at around 165 innings, including his work in the minors. The right-hander threw 132 innings last year.

The Pirates wouldn't need a five-man playoff rotation, so Cole could work as a reliever in October. If Locke's slump deepens, he could be in the postseason in the bullpen, too.

Locke has not pitched past the sixth inning in four straight starts, which puts a strain on the bullpen. The Pirates burned through five relievers Saturday, including a rare wipeout (four runs in one-third of an inning) by Jeanmar Gomez.

The Pirates scored four runs in the third inning off Cahill (4-10). Starling Marte led off with a solo home run to left field. After singles by Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez hit his 30th homer into the top row of the right field seats.

In the sixth, Russell Martin hit a ground-rule double off reliever Will Harris. Jose Tabata lined an RBI single to left.

After Harris hit back-to-back batters with pitches, loading the bases with two outs, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson called on lefty Joe Thatcher. Walker, a .212 batter from the right side, struck out.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach himat rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  2. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  3. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  4. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  5. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  6. Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
  7. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  8. Emails among Governor Wolf’s aides reveal concern over AG Kane
  9. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
  10. Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions