Wednesday's game once again made it evident. The Pirates need runs. They cannot always rely on their exceptional pitching staff.
The need for runs intensified Thursday when Jeff Locke took the mound. This is second-half Jeff Locke we're talking about not the man who put up All-Star numbers through June but the one who struggled with his walk rate since the break.
From the first at-bat of the game Thursday night the Pirates delivered. They pounced on Matt Cain feasted upon the San Francisco Giants' middle relievers and won 10-5 at AT&T Park. The Pirates won their third game out of four and continued to hold off the St. Louis Cardinals who also won Thursday.
Garrett Jones broke out of a slump with a home run into McCovey Cove. Pedro Alvarez doubled twice. The Pirates sent 11 men to the plate in a seven-run fifth inning patiently taking their walks but pouncing on pitches they could hit.
"We had a real good night offensively off a tough pitcher early" manager Clint Hurdle said.