Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 10/28/14
Brandon Inge hit his way out of a 2-for-32 slump Tuesday night. (Photo by: David Hague) When we have watched Brandon Inge struggle to reach base so mightily this season, it’s difficult to see that this is the same hitter who has averaged 15 home runs over the last seven seasons. If Inge has a third defining quality beyond solid infield defense and clubhouse leadership, it is his sneaky good  power. Brandon Inge reminded everyone by crushing Joe Saunders’ belt-high fastball over the left-field bullpen at Seattle’s Safeco Field. His three-run homer was his first since August 1 of last year with Oakland, and put the Pirates up 5-0 in the second inning en route to an easy 9-4 victory over the Mariners. Inge’s still-shoddy OPS leaped from .431 to .504 on the season after a double to the gap. Dingers! Dingers! Though Inge’s shot was the most surprising, it was but one of five Pirates’ home runs and 13 hits off Seattle pitching Tuesday night. That was the most home runs the Bucs have hit in one game since 2009, the most on the road since 2007 and the most in a non-Coors Field road ballpark since the seven-homer, 14-0 blowout of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003 at old Busch Stadium. Starling Marte picked up two of those home runs, his first career multi-homer game. His first came one pitch after the dinger from Inge, then the second was another first-pitch homer on a knee-high fastball from Carter Capps. To further illustrate the volatility of OPS, Marte’s triple and two homers lifted his OPS from .762 to .797 this season. The other two home runs were provided by Russell Martin (off Joe Saunders, whose 2nd-inning exit was the quickest of any Pirates opponent this year) and Gaby Sanchez. That’s three home runs from the veterans, two from Marte and none from Pedro Alvarez, whose home run streak ends at four straight games. Locke ‘Em Up When one writes a game story, one is to focus one’s attention on the unusual and important events that created the victory or the defeat. Therefore, do not consider Jeff Locke’s relegation to the sixth paragraph a slight on his performance. Indeed, Locke could have imploded for five runs and Pittsburgh would have still likely come out with the win. Locke’s strength was once again in generating weak contact, giving up just four hits and two runs over seven innings. One of those hits was a two-out bloop single RBI in the 2nd inning, which was the only frame in which Locke faced more than four batters. We have probably used the term not-dominant-but-efficient multiple times with regards to a Locke start, and so it was again. He struck out only four Mariners, two of them looking, but strangled the life out of a Seattle lineup that stood little hope of hitting their way out of an early six-run deficit. Locke now trails only the Mets’ Matt Harvey in the NL with a 2.05 season ERA. Kyle Seager hit a solo homer off Locke in the 6th and Justin Smoak blasted a two-run homer in the 9th to chase Bryan Morris for Seattle’s only extra-base hits. An important takeaway from this win: The last time the #Pirates won five consecutive games on the same road trip: 2000. — Michael Sanserino (@msanserino) June 26, 2013 Plus this one: Your Pittsburgh Pirates are 17 games over .500 for the first time since September 1992. #RAISEIT — Forbes to Federal (@ForbesToFederal) June 26, 2013 To close, let’s step away from the history and look at the present. The Pirates are now 47-30, 2.5 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds and 8.5 games ahead of any other team fighting for a playoff spot. The remain one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for baseball’s best record, but 8.5 games is a nice cushion for any sort of slump or lull in the dog days of summer.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys interested in Adrian Peterson?

How much will Rousey and Zingano make for their fight?

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

PHOTO: ECHL team will wear Dr. Seuss jerseys

Report: Baron Davis in talks to join a contending team

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.