(Sports Network) - Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jeff Locke was held out of the
All-Star game due to lower back soreness. Sunday, he'll try to get back on the
winning track after seeing his 16-game unbeaten streak broken.
Locke hits the mound today when Pittsburgh aims to avoid a three-game sweep
against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Locke went 8-0 during his unbeaten string until suffering a loss against
Oakland on July 8. He has posted a National League-leading 1.76 ERA this year
on the road and has a career mark to 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA in three lifetime
starts versus the Reds.
Cincinnati will counter with righty Homer Bailey, who hasn't fared well since
throwing a no-hitter against the Giants on July 2. In his two starts since
then, both on the road at Milwaukee and Atlanta, he's allowed 10 hits and four
runs each time. Both ended in defeats.
On the positive side, Bailey is 8-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 13 career starts
against the Pirates.
Pittsburgh hasn't received any clutch hitting in this series thus far. The
Buccos are 0-for-16 with men in scoring position and have left 20 runners on
Yesterday, Joey Votto's bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning brought home
Zack Cozart with the winning run, and Cincinnati claimed a 5-4 decision
Cozart and Brandon Phillips both finished with two hits, an RBI and a run
scored for the Reds, who have won four of their last five.
Mat Latos (9-3) allowed four hits and three runs -- two earned -- over five
innings for the win. Aroldis Chapman posted his 23rd save with a scoreless
ninth, but worked out of a two-on, no-out jam to wrap up the contest.
"If we had gone a whole lot longer, he might not have been able to come back,"
Reds manager Dusty Baker said of his starter. "As it was, he was at 100
pitches in the fifth. He was really at about 125-130, including what we threw
underneath to stay warm."
Andrew McCutchen collected four hits including a solo homer, and Garrett Jones
also went deep for the Pirates, losers of three straight and seven of 10.
A.J. Burnett (4-7) was charged in the setback with 10 hits and five runs --
two earned -- in 5 2/3 frames.
"We fought to get on base and to give ourselves opportunities to win the
game," noted Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "The effort is there, but the
challenge is to meet the demands of the game and overcome them."
Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo has a career-high 14-game hitting streak.
The teams have split 12 meetings this season.
The Sports Network