Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke has been scratched from his scheduled start Sunday due to lower back tightness.

Locke was slated to start Sunday's finale of a three-game series against the New York Mets, but right-hander Gerrit Cole will get the nod instead.

Through 18 starts this season, Locke has compiled an 8-2 record with a 2.15 earned run average to earn his first career All-Star Game selection.

The decision to scratch the 25-year-old left-hander gives him an opportunity to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, owns a 4-2 record and a 3.68 ERA over six starts for the Pirates during his rookie campaign.