Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brewers Top Pirates Locke Fails to Shut Door in Early Innings as Milwaukee Continues Its Mastery, 9-4

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brewers Top Pirates Locke Fails to Shut Door in Early Innings as Milwaukee Continues Its Mastery, 9-4

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE - Twice, Jeff Locke could have avoided further trouble. Two outs in the fourth inning, one pitch away from escaping without allowing a run. He failed to put away both situations, leading to an early exit and another game lost.

Locke pitched only 3? innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the Pirates, 9-4, Wednesday night at Miller Park. The Pirates (79-52) have lost three games in a row. They have one more game against the fourth-place Brewers before traveling to St. Louis for three games against the Cardinals, who have the best record in baseball.

Locke had already allowed two runs in the first inning to the Brewers, who, for the second game in a row, blitzed a Pirates starter early. He gave up another run in the third.

In the fourth, Locke was pitching with the score tied after Aramis Ramirez's three-run homer. Locke was to face Hernan Perez, Elian Herrera and Zach Davies, the 22-year-old right-hander making his major league debut.

"It's been around for a million years," Locke said. "You can't go out there and give the runs back up, put the momentum back on their side."

After getting Perez and Herrera to ground out, Locke had a 1-1 count on Davies. But Davies hit a changeup up and over the plate into the gap in left-center, extending the inning and bringing the top of the order to the plate.

Jean Segura, who had doubled and scored in the first, doubled again. Davies might have scored but nearly ran into Brewers third- base coach Ed Sedar and stopped at third. That brought Jonathan Lucroy, who hit an RBI single in the first, to the plate.

Lucroy fell behind, 0-2, fouled off a fastball and took a fastball for a ball. He hit the next pitch up the middle, scoring both runs and giving the Brewers a 5-3 lead.

"The inning's not over until you finish it," Locke said. "That's one of the things that I struggle with this year. …

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