Nobody has walked more batters in a game this season than Jeff Locke did in his last outing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Those control woes surfaced again for the Pirates when they walked nearly every hitter in sight in an unsightly loss to open this three-game series.
Locke will try to improve his control and put aside a horrible record against NL West foes on Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
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Locke (0-1, 2.53 ERA) allowed three runs in 4 2-3 innings and matched a career high with seven walks in Friday's 8-4 home defeat to Milwaukee. He managed to throw only 51 of 98 pitches for strikes in a game that took three hours and 30 minutes.
"There are games where it's just frustrating to be a part of, especially when you're the one that's causing it," Locke said. "It's a tough game to watch wherever you are, especially when you're out on the mound. The name of the game with walks is they always come down to haunt you."
It was tough to watch Tuesday as San Diego (5-9) needed more than four hours for a 5-4 victory. The Padres drew 10 walks, matching the most by any team this season.
Pittsburgh (7-7) has issued 10 walks twice out of the four times it has happened in the big leagues this year, including the last time Locke pitched. The Pirates have walked a major league-high 69 batters.
Padres manager Andy Green didn't have to watch all of Tuesday's game after he was ejected in the third inning for arguing following a sequence in which Andrew McCutchen was awarded home on a balk by Colin Rea before the umpires then twice reversed their call. Bench coach Mark McGwire earned the victory as acting manager, going 1 for 2 in challenges.
Locke is 1-9 with a 6.62 ERA in 16 starts against the NL West, including 0-6 with a 6.56 ERA in nine on the road. He is 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA in two versus the Padres.
Matt Kemp is 4 for 7 against Locke and backup catcher Christian Bethancourt could get a start since he is 3 for 6.
While Locke has faltered against the West, Pittsburgh had won six straight against the division before Tuesday. The Pirates went 27-6 in 2015 versus the West.
McCutchen failed to homer for the first time in three games as Pittsburgh went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Wil Myers and Derek Norris each hit two-run homers and Adam Rosales added a solo shot for the Padres, who had gone deep just twice in the previous six games.
San Diego fans will get their first look at Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 3.27), who made his first two starts on the road since being acquired from Oakland in the offseason. Pomeranz allowed two runs in six innings in Thursday's 3-0 loss at Philadelphia.
The left-hander has never faced Pittsburgh, although Pirates third baseman David Freese is 2 for 11 against him. Pomeranz went 0-3 in three starts at Petco Park with a 14.00 ERA for Colorado against San Diego.
The Pirates are the only team yet to face a lefty.