By NATE BARNES
PITTSBURGH (AP) Jeff Locke gave up just three hits and a walk in eight innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed their first series sweep of the season with a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
Pittsburgh had failed to finish a sweep in eight previous tries this season. Philadelphia was swept for the eighth time. The Pirates (47-41) moved a season-high six games over .500, while the Phillies (37-51) fell a season-high 14 games below .500.
Locke (2-1) gave up two runs – one earned – and struck out four. He has made six straight quality starts since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on June 8.
A.J. Burnett (5-8) gave up three runs and five hits, walked two and struck out seven in seven innings in his return to Pittsburgh.
Marlon Byrd gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a single to left. Jimmy Rollins scored an unearned run from second after he reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Pedro Alvarez.
Alvarez leads the major leagues with 18 errors this season.
Pittsburgh responded in its half of the with two runs to erase Philadelphia’s early lead.
Andrew McCutchen beat out a ground ball to shortstop with two outs after Burnett struck out the Pirates’ first two hitters. Neil Walker followed with a single.
Against his former batterymate, Pirates catcher Russell Martin hit a two-run double to right-center for a 2-1 advantage.
The Pirates added another run in the third when Josh Harrison led off with a triple that split the gap in right-center. Harrison tagged from third on a shallow fly ball from Walker to center fielder Ben Revere and scored as Revere’s throw came in offline.
Byrd hit his 18th home run in the seventh inning to draw Philadelphia within 3-2.
Harrison scored again in the eighth on a RBI triple by McCutchen, who was awarded third base because of fan interference following a crew chief review initiated by home plate umpire Dale Scott.
McCutchen then scored on a single by Starling Marte, and Jordy Mercer drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (5-9, 3.30 ERA) will oppose St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright (1-4, 1.89 ERA) on Monday when the teams begin a three-game series at Busch Stadium. . Philadelphia LHP Cole Hamels (2-5, 2.98 ERA) will face Milwaukee RHP Marco Estrada (7-5, 4.94 ERA) as the Phillies continue their road trip on Monday.
Updated July 6, 2014
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