Found September 01, 2012 on Pirates Prospects:

The month of August was not a particularly sharp month for veteran A.J. Burnett. After tossing a two-run 8.2 innings performance in Cincinnati to start the month, the right-hander allowed at least four runs in each of his next four starts, posting a 5.18 ERA overall. But as the calendar changed on Saturday, perhaps so did Burnett, who was impressive in Milwaukee.

Burnett took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and held the Brewers to just two hits overall in his 25th start of the season.

Things started off very sharp for Burnett. Of the first six batters he faced, he struck out five of them. Not until the third inning had Burnett allowed a base runner. Carlos Gomez drew a leadoff walk, but the running game hurt the veteran in the end.

Burnett doesn’t throw quick to home. Pair that with Rod Barajas’ four caught stealings out of 54 chances entering game action, and the Brewers were undoubtedly going to run. And that’s what they did. Gomez swiped second, then after Burnett picked up his sixth strikeout, took third. With a squeeze play on, Gomez came home easily after Burnett threw a wild pitch.

The right-hander battled back by tossing two scoreless frames and took the mound in the sixth inning.  After striking out his first two batters in the frame, Rickie Weeks singled to shallow right field to break up the no hitter. Weeks swiped second base, the eighth stolen bag so far of the series for the club, but was left stranded after Burnett recorded his ninth strikeout.

The second run that Burnett allowed came in the seventh.  Burnett walked his fourth batter with one out, which scored after Gomez hit a two-out RBI double. Manager Clint Hurdle called upon righty reliever Jared Hughes to notch the final out. Hughes needed just one pitch to end the frame for the veteran Burnett.

Overall, Burnett allowed two runs on two hits over 6.2 innings. He walked four and struck out nine, just one shy of his season-high. Burnett threw 102 pitches, 61 strikes.


Locke Moves into Rotation; Hurdle Sets Series Against Houston

Today Manager Clint Hurdle set the rotation for the upcoming series against Houston in Pittsburgh, which kicks off on Monday. The skipper elected to go with lefty Jeff Locke on Monday, Wandy Rodriguez on Tuesday and Kevin Correia will fill in for Jeff Karstens (hip flexor) on Wednesday. Karstens is expected to miss at least one start.

For Locke, Monday will be his first start of the season in the big leagues and his fifth overall in his professional career. The left-hander will be filling the void of Erik Bedard, whom the Pirates released last week.

He’s made two appearances in the Majors this season tossing 4.1 scoreless frames in relief for the club. And Locke’s stay in the rotation will be for the remainder of the season. The organization wants to give Locke a lengthy look as a starter. Hurdle said that the move into the rotation was not a one-shot deal. 

“He’s going to be that crafty lefty,” Pirates catcher Rod Barajas said on Locke, who caught him both this season and during spring training. “He’s not going to over power you. He does have a sneaky fastball that kind of jumps out of his hand. He gets on you pretty late. He’s got a good curveball. The changeup is a pitch that I call, and used a lot. He’s had a lot of success with it. He’s one of those guys that’s going to have to locate his pitches, throw off-speed pitches behind in the count. If he does that he will be fine.”

For Correia, his turn in the rotation will depend on the health of Karstens, who left his start with a right hip flexor injury. Karstens is expected to miss at least one start.


Holt Gets First Major League Plate Appearance

Brock Holt was one of the five players that the Pirates promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis today when the rosters expanded. Holt’s call up to the big leagues sparked after an impressive 432/.476/.537 line over 24 games. He hit for a .322 average over 102 games with Double-A to start the season.

Holt made his Major League debut as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning for Jared Hughes. Holt drew a four pitch walk, then advanced to second base on the sac bunt from Alex Presley. Holt scored on the broken bat single from Andrew McCutchen with two outs to tie the game at 2.


Pirates Notebook: Locke Better Than Line; Pirates Keeping it One Day at a Time

Jeff Locke was pushed into the starting rotation on Monday at PNC Park so the club could get a good look at the young prospect as a starter. Locke made two relief appearances earlier last month with the Pirates and tossed a combined 4.1 scoreless frames in a role that he was unfamiliar with. But that experience allowed him to get his feet wet. Although the left-hander was a September callup...

Rick VandenHurk, Jeff Locke Receive Indianapolis Awards

The Indians gave out the team awards after the game tonight: Most Valuable Player — Rick VandenHurk.  He finishes the regular season with a 13-5 record and a 2.92 ERA in 19 starts (plus two relief appearances) for the Indians. Starting Pitcher of the Year — Jeff Locke.  Locke went 10-5 for the Tribe with a 2.48 ERA, leading the team with 24 starts and 131 strikeouts.  He also...

Another Miller Park nightmare

The Pirates’ woes in Miller Park appear to be back, as they dropped game two of this weekend’s series in extremely frustrating fashion and are now in danger of being swept. A.J. Burnett delivered a solid start – his best in a while, and really deserved better. Burnett actually carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but allowed a run before it was even broken up. How? It’s...

Bucs outworked on Labor Day

 There isn’t much of anything good to be said about this one. The Pirates opened up their big homestand with a bland, disheartening loss to an Astros team that showed a lot more life than the Bucs. Jeff Locke did not get off to a good start. The Astros singled on three of his first four pitches, loading the bases right away. Locke almost got out of it with a force out at home...

Locke steps into Pirates' rotation spot vacated by Bedard

The Pittsburgh Pirates, despite being in their first pennant race in 15 years, have decided to add a rookie to their rotation for the stretch run. Left-hander Jeff Locke will start Monday against Houston in the opener of a three-game series and six-game homestand. He was recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis on Saturday when the major-league roster limit expanded to 40 from 25....

Pirates Recall Fryer, Locke, Wilson; Selected Holt, Leroux From Triple-A

The Pittsburgh Pirates made the recalls of Eric Fryer, Jeff Locke, Justin Wilsoon, and the selection of the contracts of Brock Holt and Chris Leroux official. It was reported late last night of these moves.  Fryer provides Manager Clint Hurdle flexibility as the club’s third catcher. It can give him more opportunities to pinch-hit Michael McKenry if Rod Barajas gets the start...

MLB Insiders: Houston Astros

The Pirates open a three-game series with Houston on Monday afternoon at PNC Park. Lefty Jeff Locke gets the start for the Bucs. The Astros will counter with right-hander Edgar Gonzalez.

Brewers hope bats stay hot versus Pirates

By MATT BECKER, STATS Senior WriterFor the first time in 15 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates enter September within striking distance of the playoffs.To get to the postseason, they'll need their MVP-candidate center fielder and the anchor of their rotation to leave their August struggles behind.With the slumping Andrew McCutchen expected back in the lineup, A.J. Burnett looks to...

GAMEDAY: Pirates vs. Astros

Astros (41-93) at Pirates (70-63) 1:35 PM EST–PNC Park, Pittsburgh Here is the Gameday TV: ROOT Sports The Pirates start off this crucial homestand with an early Labor Day start, as they battle the lowly Astros at 1:35. The Bucs need to make a move this week. Nothing’s guaranteed – especially the way the Pirates have played recently – but Houston right now is about...

Pirates labor, fall to Astros

Astros starter Edgar Gonzalez hadn’t pitched in a major league game since 2009.  Despite pitching just 5.1 innings today, he looked like an ace against the Pirates.  Jeff Locke struggled a bit in his first start of the year, and the Pirates’ offense wasn’t any help. The Astros started the game with 3 straight hits [...]

Pirates to Callup Five in First Wave of September Callups

According to a source, the following five players will join the Pirates in Milwaukee on Saturday when the rosters expand for September 1st. Pitchers Chris Leroux, Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson, catcher Eric Fryer and infielder Brock Holt. Both Leroux and Holt are not currently on the club’s 40-man roster, but the roster was at 39 and a second spot opened on Friday when the Pirates...

Astros 5, Pirates 1

Brett Wallace had three hits, including a three-run homer, to lift the Houston Astros past the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Monday. Edgar Gonzalez (1-0) picked up his first victory as a starter in more than four years, giving up a run on five hits in 5 1-3 innings as the Astros won for just the third time since interim manager Tony DeFrancesco took over two weeks ago. Gonzalez struck...

First Pitch: Profiling the September Callups

As Kristy Robinson reported tonight, the Pirates will call up five players tomorrow when rosters expand, including infielder Brock Holt. To serve as an introduction to some of these players (or a refresher), here is a brief summary of each player. I included Kyle McPherson in this list, even though he was called up yesterday and threw in tonight’s game. I included him because there...

September call-ups, round one

The following players will join the Pirates tonight in Milwaukee as September call-ups: Chris Leroux, Justin Wilson, Eric Fryer, Jeff Locke, and Brock Holt. None of these are a surprise, except for Holt – who also makes plenty of sense. Holt – a 9th round draft pick in 2009 – hit very well in Double-A early this season, and has gone absolutely insane in Indianapolis since being...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.