After being forced to wait almost two weeks between starts because of a back injury, Jeff Locke was impressive again his last time out.
That could mean bad news for the Miami Marlins, who have won three of four despite inconsistent run production.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hope for Locke's fourth win in five starts Friday night when they visit the Marlins.
Locke (9-2, 2.11 ERA) experienced soreness in his back during a 2-1 loss against Oakland on July 8, then missed his next scheduled start and was held out of the All-Star Game. But he looked no worse for wear Sunday, allowing an infield single, four walks and one run over six innings of a 3-2 win at Cincinnati.
It marked the left-hander's fifth quality start in his last six games, and his ERA crept closer to Clayton Kershaw's major league-leading mark of 2.01.
"The back's great," Locke told the team's official website. "Just going back to last week, pretty much proved to myself today that I stand by the decision that was made by ...