LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jeff Locke is learning a lot in his first September callup, lessons that he hopes pay off next spring in a big-league roster spot.
His second major league start resulted in a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night, but Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle liked some of what he saw from Locke (0-2).
The 23-year-old left-hander gave up three runs and five hits in three innings, walked two and struck out none, having been recalled from Triple-A on Sept. 6.
``There were some nice sequences, but unfortunately, the first run was on a changeup and a breaking ball up, and both those guys jumped on those pitches,' Hurdle said. ``Then after that, he battled. We've just got to get him to work on getting the ball down with more consistency. But there's something there that you like and you want to see more of.'
Locke, who lives in New Hampshire, said it was his first trip out of the Eastern time zone. To compensate, he stayed up late and slept in after the Pirates arrived for the four-game series that began Thursday.
``It was very exciting,' he said. ``It's definitely an honor to come here and pitch in one of the legendary stadiums of all time. I had this adrenaline going. But I wasn't nervous at all. I just left a lot of pitches up and got into a lot of deep counts.'
Locke made 68 pitches, with 30 coming in the third inning, which caused Hurdle to pull him.
``It was quick, but the biggest reason it was quick was because of the number of pitches he threw in the third,' the manager said.
The Dodgers took a 3-1 lead in the third on Matt Kemp's single that increased his career high RBIs total to 111 and Juan Rivera's fielder's choice groundout. Rod Barajas tied the game at 1 in the second when his RBI double hit the left-field line.
``This experience is incredibly beneficial, just to get up here and get your feet wet,' Locke said. ``It's definitely a good feeling, getting ready to come back into spring training again knowing that you had that experience the year before. Now it's about consistency and staying tough.'
Hiroki Kuroda set a career high with his 12th victory, helped by pinch-hitter James Loney's three-run homer.
Kuroda (12-16) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked two to win for the first time in three starts this month. He is now 5-1 against the Pirates in his career.
Loney's first career pinch-hit homer off Chris Resop hit the top of the right-field wall, capping a four-run sixth inning that extended the Dodgers' lead to 7-2. Dee Gordon grounded into a fielder's choice to first base, scoring Russell Mitchell for the other run.
Kuroda gave up three consecutive hits to open the sixth, including Alex Presley's leadoff homer, before retiring the next three batters to end the inning.
``He throws a lot of different stuff that moves different ways. He's tough,' Presley said. ``He doesn't throw much down the middle and he keeps it off the plate, so he gets a lot of weak contact and you have to be patient with him and wait for him to make mistakes.'
Pittsburgh is 17-39 since July 20, when it was 51-44 and led the NL Central by a half-game.
The Pirates' other run came in the first when Garrett Jones scored on shortstop Gordon's throwing error that sailed past first base.
NOTES: Kemp had his 51st multi-hit game, the most by a Dodger since Juan Pierre's 59 in 2007. ... Mattingly said he heard from GM Ned Colletti that LHP Clayton Kershaw won't be suspended by MLB after hitting Arizona's Gerardo Parra with a pitch and getting ejected Wednesday. ... Dodgers RHP Jonathan Broxton will have arthroscopic surgery Monday to reduce a spur on his right elbow and remove loose chips. He hasn't pitched since May while bothered by his elbow and a sore back. ... Pirates C Ryan Doumit had two singles to improve to 18 for 49 in 14 career games at Chavez Ravine.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved