Jeff Locke Pirates
Locke is experiencing lower back tightness and will return to the rotation next Sunday. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Pirates left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke suffered lower back tightness and will not pitch in Tuesday’s All-Star Game or make his scheduled start Sunday. Locke felt back soreness in his last start and threw a bullpen session Friday.

Gerrit Cole will be pushed up to start against the New York Mets on Sunday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said there have been conversations about Cole’s innings jump in 2013, but “there’s not anything saying he’s gonna be cut off prematurely.”

Locke will still travel to New York City to participate in All-Star festivities but is feeling “a little off” according to Hurdle and will return to the starting rotation after the break. The manager said the Pirates are also “mindful” of Locke’s potential innings jump, but is thankful any injury arrived just before the All-Star Break.

“We couldn’t have had it at a better time,” Hurdle said.

Here is the Pirates’ upcoming starting rotation:

Mets Series

  • Saturday: RHP A.J. Burnett
  • Sunday: RHP Gerrit Cole

Reds Series

  • Friday: LHP Francisco Liriano
  • July 20: RHP A.J. Burnett
  • July 21: LHP Jeff Locke

Nationals Series

  • July 22: RHP Charlie Morton
  • July 23: RHP Gerrit Cole
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