Locke gets start today for Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeff Locke (49) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning at PNC Park last month. The Los Angeles Dodgers won 11-0. (US PRESSWIRE)
Conway's Jeff Locke will get his first major league start of the season this afternoon at 1:35 p.m. when his Pittsburgh Pirates host the Houston Astros.
The Pirates turn to Locke after some recent injuries and ineffectiveness in their starting rotation.
Locke takes recently released Eric Bedard's normal starting spot for the opener of a three-game series in Pittsburgh. The left-hander was also a September callup last year and saw some relief work last month, allowing one hit in 4 1/3 innings over two games.
The 24-year-old just finished his first full Triple-A season with an impressive 10-5 record and a 2.48 ERA.
“He's made a lot of progress” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told Tom Singer of MLB.com. “His ability to locate, to mix speeds, the comand — all of it. The next step is to check it out here.”
Locke, a Kennett High grad, was one of five players added to the Pirates expanded roster. Locke and fellow pitchers Chris Leroux and Justin Wilson joined the Pirates from Indianapolis. Catcher Eric Fryer and infielder Brock Holt also got the call.
The Pirates currently are 70-63 overall. They sit 11 games behind National League Central-leading Cincinnati (82-53) but just a game and a half behind in the Wild Card standings. Pittsburgh has 26 games remaining, including 15 at home, where it has compiled a 40-26 record. Locke could see five starts over the next four weeks if things fall into place for him.
Locke, a Kennett High grad, spoke to Singer about the opportunity that he and his teammates have been given with the Pirates. “We want to contribute,” he said. “We know what's at stake here. It definitely can be something special.”
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