Did you see this coming? Did you see Jeff Locke having the National League's 5th-best ERA in mid-June?

Jeff Locke has taken his opportunity in the rotation and has been stellar.

If you're surprised, that's because Locke's performance sneaks up on you. The Pirates have needed nine starters to fill four spots because of injuries, poor pitching or in Gerrit Cole's case, delaying a service time clock. Meanwhile, Locke stands on the mound every fifth day and personifies consistency.

"You're fortunate it's not you right now [out with injury]," Locke said. "I wanted to still be in the rotation at this time... It's kind of pitching to survive."

Survive? Can't Locke see he has thrived? Take Friday night's start in which Locke led the Pirates to a 3-0 victory over the $223-million Los An...

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