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Locke muffles Cardinals in Pirates' 9-0 win

Sunday, April 28, 2013 | 4:50 p.m. CDT
Pittsburgh Pirates' Brandon Inge (2) scores ahead of the tag from St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina during the sixth inning of Sunday's game in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Rookie Jeff Locke pitched seven innings of three-hit ballgame, and Russell Martin had two of Pittsburgh's four home runs in a 9-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday that gave the Pirates a series win and the NL Central lead.

Jones had three hits and John McDonald added an RBI double for Pittsburgh, which ended rookie Shelby Miller's streak of 14 scoreless innings at home to start the season. The Pirates have won nine of 12 overall, leapfrogging St. Louis for first place.

Locke (3-1) has worked 13 scoreless innings while allowing five hits his last two starts. The Cardinals got just three singles and advanced two runners into scoring position against the 25-year-old left-hander, who earned the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong spring.

Justin Wilson allowed a walk the last two innings to wrap up the Pirates' fifth shutout.

Miller (3-2) struggled to put away hitters and was taken out after 113 pitches and giving up two homers in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven, one off his season best, and was charged with three runs after John McDonald greeted Fernando Salas with a bloop RBI double.

Left fielder Matt Holliday took a circuitous route and just missed a diving catch with the ball deflecting off his left wrist, and Brandon Inge scored from first on a close play at the plate for a 3-0 lead.

Martin earned his fourth homer with a 412-foot drive to straightaway center in the second. He doubled off the right-field fence in the fourth for his fourth straight extra-base hit, two of them homers, then added a two-run shot to cap a five-run ninth.

It was the seventh career multi-homer game and first since June 10 to 12, 2012, for the Yankees against the Mets for Martin, who's hitting .409 since April 15.

Tabata lined a 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall in the fifth for his first homer, giving him a hit in 21 of 23 career games at Busch Stadium.

Jones' second homer and first in 50 at-bats since April 8 barely cleared Shane Robinson's leaping attempt at the wall in the seventh to make it 4-0. First base umpire Laz Diaz initially ruled no homer, but it was quickly overturned after the Pirates appealed.

Mitchell Boggs allowed two hits and a run-scoring groundout by Gaby Sanchez in the ninth. Boggs lost the closer's job earlier this month and has an 11.81 ERA, allowing 14 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings.

 


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