Locke is getting his first start of 2012 after being Indy's top gun (10-5/2.48 ERA in 24 starts), and will audition for next season as Erik Bedard's replacement. The game begins at 1:35 and will be shown on Root Sports.
The lineup: Brock Holt 2B, Travis Snider LF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones RF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Clint Barmes SS, Jeff Locke P.
Hmmm...Alex Presley is sitting against a righty so Gaby Sanchez can get in a couple of licks. J-Hay has put together a couple of 0-fers, so he's back on the bench, and Holt is still at second with The Kid out.
The Astros were 5-22 in August, but started off September with a split against the Reds. The Pirates have gone 9-2 against Houston this season, winning six of the seven games played at PNC Park, and have a great opportunity to jump start their September run at home after a three-pack of whippings in Milwaukee. And make no mistake; fans put a lot of emphasis on the head-to-head matchups against other contenders, but it's TCB against the other half that make or break the season.
- The Bucs made a couple of more minor moves. You may recall that Jeff Clement and Chase d'Arnaud were sent to Bradenton rather than Indy to avoid the ten-day waiting period for recall. The Bucs recalled Clement today, DFA'ing SS Oscar Tejeda to clear room on the 40-man roster, and sent d'Arnaud to Indy for the playoff run. Tejeda was claimed on waivers from the Red Sox in June and hit .242 at Altoona.
- The Pirates only winning season at PNC Park came in 2006, when the club finished 43-38. The Bucs are 40-26 at home in 2012, and could surpass that total during this six-game homestand against Houston and Chicago.
- Old Pittsburgh announcer Milo Hamilton, who now broadcasts the Astros games, turned 85 yesterday. This will be his last season on the air full time, after stops at Los Angeles, Detroit, Baltimore, Arlington, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Cincinnati, New York, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Houston during his 70-year career.