Pirates turn to Locke in Colorado

(SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Locke is quietly putting together a pretty solid season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He will be on the hill Saturday when the continue a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

The only left-handed starter not named Clayton Kershaw to have fewer walks (eight) than games started (nine), Locke tossed his eighth straight quality start on Sunday against the Rockies, but did not get a decision, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings of his team's 5-3 win.

"You try to execute pitches, and sure you might throw 85 or 100 pitches on the day," Locke said. "Not all of them are going to go where you want, but you sure as hell would like to have most of them go that way."

Locke, who is 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA on the year, has departed four games with a lead this season in which he did not get the victory.

Colorado will counter with lefty Tyler Matzek, who opposed Locke six days ago and also did not get a decision. In fact Matzek matched Locke's line, allowing three runs and seven hits in six innings.

"They were being real aggressive," said Matzek, who is 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA. "We had to change our approach, start pitching a little backwards and outthink them a little bit more."

Matzek hasn't won since June 11.

Colorado drew first blood in this set on Friday, as Brett Anderson cruised into the seventh inning before being lifted because of a developing blister on his hand, and the Rockies rolled, 8-1.

Josh Rutledge hit a three-run double and Carlos Gonzalez added a two-run homer in a seven-run seventh inning for the Rockies, who won their second in a row on the heels of a seven-game slide.

Anderson (1-3) earned his first win since coming off the disabled list from a broken finger but left in the seventh when the blister on his pitching hand got to be too much.

"It got to the point where it was starting to affect his feel for the ball," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "We had to go get him."

Charlie Morton (5-10) went six-plus innings for the Pirates, who were coming off a 5-1 homestand. Morton was charged with four runs on seven hits and a walk.

Pittsburgh swept the Rockies in a three-game set earlier this season.