Locke down: Pirates lefty takes on Cubs at Wrigley

Jeff Locke suffered a loss in his first start of the season. The Pirates lefty hasn't lost since.

Locke aims to pitch Pittsburgh to a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs Sunday. The last time the Pirates swept a three-game set at Wrigley Field was May 5-7, 2000.

The 25-year-old, who will make his 13th start of the season, is 5-0 since that April 7 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Locke had gone three straight starts without giving up a run, but that string was broken in his last outing, Tuesday at Atlanta when he yielded six hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings of a no-decision.

Locke's five-game winning streak is the longest by a Pirates lefty since Zach Duke won six straight in 2005. He has not given up a run in three of his last five road starts and has a 1.96 ERA this year on the road.

In two career starts against the Cubs, Locke is 0-0 with a 6.10 ERA. He has surrendered four home runs overall, two in each start.

Edwin Jackson will try to snap a personal three-game skid when he takes the mound for the Cubs. The Cubs are 2-9 in his 11 starts. The right-hander has been touched for 18 hits and 11 runs -- nine earned -- over his last two outings. He's 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA in eight lifetime games when facing the Pirates. He has dropped both of his starts against Pittsburgh this season.

On Saturday, A.J. Burnett spun 8 1/3 innings to help the Pirates to a 6-2 win. Burnett (4-6) bounced back from his worst start of the season with arguably his best outing. He surrendered just two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts to pick up his first victory in over a month.

"That was excellent rhythm off the mound," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said about Burnett's performance.

Burnett is 5-0 in six career starts at Wrigley Field.

Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin each had two-run home runs while Travis Snider drove in a run for the Pirates, who have won six of eight from the Cubs this season.

Jeff Samardzija (3-7) yielded four runs on eight hits while striking out seven over six frames for the Cubs.

"We had zero fastball command today," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We got very few called strikes on his fastball."

Garrett Jones has a 10-game hitting streak at Wrigley Field.