Locke, Pirates’ bullpen blank Phillies
Jeff Locke pitched six innings of two-hit ball and Gaby Sanchez homered off Cole Hamels to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-0, on Tuesday night.
Locke (2-1) struck out six and walked two. After wriggling out of a jam in the fourth, he retired his last eight batters — striking out three of the final four.
Sanchez also doubled and Brandon Inge had an RBI double in his Pirates debut to help Pittsburgh win for the fifth time in seven games.
After opening the season with a pair of poor outings, Hamels (0-3) pitched well for the third straight start but was hurt by a lack of run support again. In eight innings, the left-hander gave up two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Philadelphia, which has scored three runs or fewer in 13 of its 21 games, managed just four hits and had 11 strikeouts against Locke and three relievers.
Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an eighth-inning single for the Phillies, who were shut out for the third time this season.
Jason Grilli pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances. Grilli hasn’t given up a run and has allowed just three hits with 15 strikeouts in nine innings this season.
Philadelphia appeared poised to score against Locke when John Mayberry Jr. led off the fourth with a triple and Locke hit Domonic Brown with a pitch to put runners on first and third with none out.
But Mayberry, running on contact, was tagged out trying to score on Ben Revere’s weakly hit grounder to third and Erik Kratz hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to keep Philadelphia scoreless.
Locke didn’t allow another batter to reach base before turning the game over to Pittsburgh’s stingy bullpen, which entered third in the majors with a 1.94 ERA. The Pirates improved to 10-0 when leading after the seventh inning.
Pittsburgh got on the board in the fourth on Inge’s RBI double to right that scored Neil Walker.