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Jeff Locke, Pedro Alvarez pace Pirates in 1-0 win

Justin K. Aller

Jeff Locke and the Pirates shut out the Astros 1-0 Sunday afternoon.

Locke has already proven he's perfectly good at shutting down Triple-A lineups, but give him credit for a good outing here -- he allowed just three hits over seven innings, striking out four and walking two, and Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli took care of the rest. (Melancon got some help from a terrific running catch by Starling Marte.)

Lucas Harrell took a no-hitter into the fifth and generally pitched very well, but allowed a line-drive, opposite-field homer to Pedro Alvarez that inning, and that was all the Bucs needed. Travis Snider hit a one-out double in the sixth and tried to come home on a two-out single by Gaby Sanchez. Sanchez's hit wasn't deep enough, though, and I knew Snider was going to be out as soon as the broadcasters announced he was rounding third. Not the kind of dead meat Snider usually likes to bring to the plate, if you know what I mean. Snider collided into Carlos Corporan and pretty much just bounced off him.

In any case, it didn't matter, as the Astros didn't come close to scoring after that.

In the end, the Pirates didn't even outscore the Astros in a three-game series, but they did end up winning two, which is a perfectly reasonable result, even against a terrible team.