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Rockies clobber Jeff Locke in 11-5 Pirates loss

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Locke allowed 11 runs and saw his ERA climb from 4.28 to 5.38 in a train wreck of a start as the Bucs lost 11-5 to the Rockies Thursday.

Locke's performance mostly speaks for itself, but a couple caveats. First, it was Coors Field. Second, pitchers conventionally don't allow 11 runs because their managers usually take them out before they can. In this case, Locke had already allowed four runs in a miserably long first inning and two in the second when, in the fourth inning, DJ LeMahieu hammered a changeup with a runner on to give the Rockies their seventh and eighth runs.

At that point, convention would have dictated Locke be removed, but the Pirates' bullpen has been busy lately, and the Bucs apparently wanted Locke to power through. Well, fine, but David Freese had hit a three-run homer in the third, and by LeMahieu's homer in the fourth, the Pirates were still only down 8-5. With five full innings to go in Coors Field, I think that's a game you've got to try to win somehow. As it stood, Locke headed out for the fifth inning, allowed a bunch of baserunners, and gave up three more runs to effectively put the game out of reach. Kyle Lobstein and Cory Luebke took over from there and did fine, not that it mattered.

Well, whatever. I made my feelings about Locke plenty clear yesterday. And beyond Freese, the Pirates' offense didn't do nearly enough today anyway, striking out 12 times and walking just once while notching only one other extra-base hit. The Bucs will now turn around and head back home to face the Cardinals.