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Adam Wainwright bests Jeff Locke, Pirates

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, a matchup of Jeff Locke against Adam Wainwright didn't end up going so well -- who would have guessed? Wainwright struck out eight Pirates while allowing two hits in seven innings, and Locke struggled, battling his own issues with command as well as home-plate umpire Larry Vanover, whose calls seemed both inconsistent and ungenerous. Locke walked four and hit a batter, and allowed three of the five leadoff batters he faced to reach through one of those means. Two of those ended up scoring, and Locke gave up three runs total.

But hey -- at least Locke got through five. That's probably more than many of us were expecting of him. Jeanmar Gomez then pitched two innings and allowed a leadoff homer to David Freese in the sixth. Then Jason Grilli, pitching in a decidedly non-save situation, allowed a leadoff double to Yadier Molina in the eighth, and Molina later came home on a single by Daniel Descalso.

The Pirates are now a half-game behind the Cardinals and only a game ahead of the Reds in the NL Central. Charlie Morton, who's been so dependable recently, will face Michael Wacha on Sunday; it's way too early to call this a game the Pirates have to win, but it certainly would be nice.