Jeff Locke hasn't lost on the road since his first start this season. The Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander hopes to continue an impressive streak as he heads to the mound Friday against the Miami Marlins.
Locke is 5-1 with a league-best 1.73 ERA in 10 road starts this season with the only defeat coming April 7 against the Dodgers. He has given up two earned runs or less in each of his last seven overall starts. Locke had won eight consecutive decisions over a 16-start span until faltering in his final appearance prior to the All-Star break, July 8 against Oakland.
The 25-year-old was held out of the All-Star Game due to a sore back, but got back in the victory column Sunday at Cincinnati when he limited the Reds to one hit and a run over six innings.
Locke lost his only career start against Miami and that came in his big league debut on Sept. 10, 2011 when he suffered a 3-0 defeat to Anibal Sanchez.
The Pirates are 4-3 on their road trip, which will conclude with this three- game series.
They were going for a four-game sweep at Washington Thursday and rallied from a 7-3 deficit to tie the game in the ninth inning, only to lose on Bryce Harper's two-run homer in the bottom of the frame.
Josh Harrison went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and four RBI for the Pirates, who had a four-game winning streak stopped. Russell Martin, Jordy Mercer and A.J. Burnett each knocked in a run.
Bryan Morris (4-4) gave up the winning hit, but it was an uphill battle for the Pirates all afternoon. They fell behind 4-0 after one inning, during which the visitors committed three errors.
"That's the last thing I wanted to do was to give up a home run after the offense battles back and scores four to get us back in the game," Morris said.
The Marlins, who begin a 10-game homestand, took three of four in Colorado. That included yesterday's 5-3 triumph as Donovan Solano capped a four-run ninth inning with a two-run homer.
Giancarlo Stanton smacked an RBI double and Ed Lucas knocked in a run after Rob Brantly crossed the plate in the eighth to break a scoreless contest.
The Marlins came to Colorado on the heels of a three-game sweep to the Brewers and in the midst of a 37-inning scoreless streak.
"Great job to salvage what looked like was going to be a really rough road trip," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond.
Henderson Alvarez gets the start tonight for Miami. He is coming off a no- decision on Sunday at Milwaukee when he tossed seven innings of shutout ball. The Marlins lost, 1-0, in 13 innings. The righty has gone seven starts, going back to last season, without a win. His last victory came Sept. 13, 2012 against Seattle.
Alvarez has missed most of this season due to right shoulder inflammation.
This will be the first meeting of the season. Last year, the Pirates won four of the five games between the clubs. Miami, though, has won 13 of the last 18 encounters.