Jeff Locke insists he didn't need a confidence boost after a late summer swoon. A return to basics and a little help from his teammates provided one anyway.
Flashing the form that made him a surprise All-Star in July, Locke allowed three hits over seven innings to earn his first victory in nearly two months as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Thursday night to move into a tie for first place in the NL Central.
''Nothing's really changed with me mentally,'' Locke said. ''I still try to go out and be aggressive. Tonight was an example of everything working out the way you'd like it to.''
Locke (10-5) struck out five and walked one to help the Pirates (85-61) win their fourth straight. They pulled even with the Cardinals, who lost 5-3 to Milwaukee.
Mark Melancon worked out of a two-on, none-out jam in the ninth for his 14th save.
Jordy Mercer went 2 for 4 with an RBI double for Pittsburgh. Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez each added an RBI single for the Pirates, w...