Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 10/1/12

 The Pirates came up with a nice victory on Monday night…and while it didn’t matter for them, they set off a celebration in Washington D.C. because the Braves loss clinched the NL East for the Nationals. So it was kind of relevant.

Jeff Locke finally earned his first major league win, and he certainly deserved it. He was uncharacteristically wild (five walks) but for the first time did a great job of limiting hits (just two) and went six innings. He also racked up six K’s, and only one run came across against him. I don’t know if it’ll be enough to get him in to next year’s rotation plans, but it was a nice way for Locke to finish his season.

Paul Maholm was also sharp, but the Pirates got to him just enough. Starling Marte grounded a triple down the LF line in the third, then scored on a groundout. The next time Marte came up, he swatted a bomb to center field to give the Bucs a 2-1 lead. Maholm was solid other than that and allowed just three other hits, but hey, it’s not the first time he didn’t get much run support in a loss at this ballpark.

Jeff Karstens, Tony Watson, and Jared Hughes did the job out of the bullpen (Hughes got the save, as Clint Hurdle was extra conservative with Joel Hanrahan after using him two games in a row). The Pirates picked up their 78th win (most since ’97) and eliminated the Braves from division contention. The last two games between these two teams will now be meaningless for both clubs.

Pirates 2, Braves 1 / Box / 2012 Record: 78-82 / Next: Tuesday, vs. Braves, 7:05

MVP: Marte (+.245) / LVP: Sanchez (-.102) / Key play: Marte’s HR

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