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Despite scuffling, Locke bends but doesn't break

PITTSBURGH -- Left-hander Jeff Locke yielded four runs over five innings and received a no-decision as the Pirates rallied for a 5-4 win over the Cubs on Thursday afternoon.

Locke allowed seven hits and issued three walks, but he was able to use seven strikeouts to his advantage and limit the damage.

With Cubs ahead, 4-1, in the fifth, Locke got Starlin Castro to ground into an inning-ending double play, preventing Chicago from breaking the game open.

"As big a pitch that was made in the game was the ground-ball double play in the fifth when Locke was still out there and scuffling and battling," said manager Clint Hurdle said. "To get the double play right there, if we don't get that double play, I'm not so sure we win that game. He stayed in it."

"Locke didn't have his best stuff out there, but he went deep in the game," catcher Chris Stewart said. "He threw whatever he had to throw to make it happen out there. His last pitch was a big changeup for a double play that I think was the biggest play of the game. They could have added on and put the game out of reach at that point, [but] he kept us in it and we chipped away and ended up coming away with the win."

George Von Benko is a contributor to
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