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Philadelphia at Pittsburgh

Venue: PNC Park
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The Pittsburgh Pirates faced a decision that most teams wish they had to make.

Having selected Jeff Locke to take the mound Wednesday night, the Pirates will look to rebound after the Philadelphia Phillies snapped their nine-game winning streak in the series opener.

Pittsburgh (51-31) could have gone with Jeanmar Gomez, who surrendered an unearned run in five innings at Seattle on Wednesday in his return from right forearm tightness. The Pirates have won all eight games that Gomez has started this season.

Instead, Locke (7-1, 2.06 ERA), who was scratched from Tuesday's game due to a lengthy bullpen session in Sunday's extra-inning win over Milwaukee, is scheduled to make the start.

"Jeff was obviously very aggressive in his bullpen, because he was going in to pitch the 15th inning," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle told the Pirates' official website. "He's been a very honest self-evaluator for us."

The left-hander has been outstanding of late, with a 1.07 ERA over his last eight starts. He has allowed 30 hits over 50 2-3 innings, while yielding only one home run during that span. He hasn't lost since his first start of the season.

Locke, who received just 32 runs of support over his first 15 starts, got a season-high eight runs his last time out and surrendered two runs in seven innings of a 9-4 victory at Seattle on June 25.

"Probably had the lightest stuff he's had all season," Hurdle said. "But at the end of the day, looking at his numbers, he still found a way to keep the game in check."

He did that and more in his only appearance against the Phillies on April 23, giving up two hits over six innings in a 2-0 win.

Philadelphia (40-44), which entered Tuesday with a 1-6 record and a .203 batting average in road contests against NL Central teams, received a spark from Ryan Howard. The first baseman, who finished June in an 0-for-20 skid with 11 strikeouts, had two hits Tuesday in his first game of July.

Delmon Young, meanwhile, continued his hot hitting on the Phillies' 10-game road trip. He was mired in a 5-for-33 slump before going 12 for 26 (.462) with nine RBIs eight games into the trek.

John Lannan (1-2, 4.83) looks to build off his first win of the season. The left-hander failed to win any of his first five outings, posting a 5.84 ERA, but was in excellent form Friday against the Dodgers. He allowed one run and five hits in seven innings as the Phillies rolled to a 16-1 rout.

"It was a good night,'' Lannan said. ``Just to have that offensive production - I mean, you know it's always there. But just to see it happen, that was great for the team.''

Lannan last saw Pittsburgh in July 2011, while with Washington. He's 1-4 with a 4.53 ERA in nine career starts against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh's Starling Marte enters Wednesday riding a seven-game hitting streak, during which he's batting .361. His lone hit in five at-bats Tuesday was a single, ending a run of four straight games with a double and six consecutive games with an extra-base hit.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

John Lannan, LHP
2013 stats
31.2 Innings Pitched 96.1
1-2 Wins-Losses 7-1
4.83 Earned Run Average 2.06
7 Walks 41
16 Strikeouts 67
88 Pitches Per Start 93
Career vs. opponent
53.2 Innings Pitched 6.0
1-4 Wins-Losses 1-0
4.53 Earned Run Average 0.00

Jeff Locke, LHP
Weather
weather image  Isolated tstorms late. High level clouds. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
84°F68°F7mph/S59%50%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Philadelphia5th NL East7184.45819 ½ 4-6 W 1
Pittsburgh2nd NL Central8371.5393 ½ 8-2 L 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jeff Locke
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Mayberry31001.333
Howard31002.333
Brown100000
De Fratus000000
Diekman000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs John Lannan
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
McCutchen167143.438
Sanchez104020.400
Walker166002.375
Alvarez31001.333
Inge31000.333
 
Injuries
Philadelphia
PlayerInjury
D. BrownHand
M. HollandsElbow
C. LeeElbow
J. PapelbonSuspension
J. RollinsHamstring
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
P. AlvarezFoot
C. MortonHernia
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 11MILMIL 4-2Peralta Liriano 
Apr 12MILMIL 3-2Henderson Melancon 
Apr 13MILMIL 4-1Lohse Morton 
Apr 17PITPIT 11-2Volquez Wooten 
Apr 18PITMIL 5-3Lohse Morton 
Apr 19PITMIL 8-7Henderson Grilli 
Apr 20PITMIL 3-2Duke Gomez 
May 13MILMIL 5-2Estrada Cole 
May 14MILPIT 4-1Watson Rodriguez 
May 15MILMIL 4-3Wooten Melancon 
Jun 6PITPIT 15-5Cumpton Lohse 
Jun 7PITMIL 9-3Garza Volquez 
Jun 8PITMIL 1-0Gallardo Locke 
Aug 22MILPIT 8-3Locke Gallardo 
Aug 23MILPIT 10-2Volquez Peralta 
Aug 24MILMIL 4-3Fiers Worley 
Sep 19PITPIT 4-2Holdzkom Broxton 
Sep 20PITMIL 1-0Duke Melancon 
Sep 21PIT 1:35 PM EDT