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North Conway’s Locke picked up ninth win with Pirates

  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Jeff Locke broke into a grin before taking any questions.

“Happy to be back,” the left-hander from North Conway said.

No one’s happier than the Pittsburgh Pirates, who used their formula from a highly successful first half – great pitching, just enough scoring – to salvage the final game of their series with Cincinnati Reds yesterday. Locke allowed only an infield single through six innings of the 3-2 victory.

Locke (9-2) had to miss his last scheduled start and couldn’t pitch in the All-Star game because of a sore back. There were no problems when he got back on the mound. Locke walked a pair and threw a wild pitch that let in a run in the fifth inning. He lowered his ERA to 2.11.

“What did he leave with, one hit?” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s good stuff.”

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