Originally posted on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 6/26/13
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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Adrien Broner uses Bruce Jenner zinger after win

ESPN explains reason for Dabo Swinney interview error

Brian Kelly: Kizer made right call on 2-point play

Jim Mora calls UCLA's upcoming schedule 'a complete injustice'

Tommy Tuberville returned to Auburn, lined up at Tiger Walk

WATCH: Arizona State pushes pile 20 yards on TD run


Jim McElwain still won't name Will Grier Florida's starter

Steve Smith has microfractures in back, out for Week 5

Cowboys want Brandon Weeden to attempt longer passes

Nebraska captain tells crowd 'I'm sorry we suck'

Report: Dolphins could fire some coaches if team loses to Jets

Georgia fans get #FireRicht trending on Twitter

Cormier tops Gustafsson at UFC 192

Robert Smith wants Braxton Miller back at QB

WATCH: Clemson, Swinney have locker room dance party

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

WATCH: Dabo Swinney interview awkwardly cut off

Ohio St. LB Darron Lee has message for fans after close win

WATCH: Swedish league player unties opponent's skates

Max Scherzer throws second no-hitter of the season

Ezekiel Elliott jokes he owes his OL a steak dinner

Mike Riley explains questionable pass play on third down

Torey Lovullo would be 'honored' by managerial offers

WATCH: Ohio State stops Indiana on 4th down to win game

McIlroy: Spieth, Day have made me hungry again

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Time for Neymar's Barcelona

Seth Rollins, WWE depth, Divas and winning

Madison Keys and the future of women’s tennis

Most underrated games in NFL Week 4

What to watch in CFB Week 5

Starter strategies for final, tie-breaker and wild card games

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker