For at least one start pitcher Jeff Locke unearthed his first-half self.

Behind a strong outing from Locke the Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-1 at PNC Park on Thursday night their fourth win in a row.

Locke (10-5) finished seven innings and allowed one run on three hits. He walked only one batter his lowest walk total since July 31 and struck out five.

Locke had not finished six innings since July 26 and struggled putting too many men on base.
Locke allowed base runners in two innings the third and the fourth Thursday night. He retired every batter he faced in his other five innings of work.

Cubs starter Chris Rusin needed only 79 pitches to finish seven innings. He allowed four Pirates hits in the fourth inning leading to two runs but no hits anywhere else.

Locke held the Cubs hitless until the third when Darnell McDonald led off with a double that bounced over the wall in left-center field. A ground ball allowed McDonald to take third. Locke had two strikes on Starlin Castro but allowed an RBI single that gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

The Pirates responded in the bottom half. Andrew McCutchen's double bounced off third base driving Jordy Mercer who had singled to third. Mercer ran on contact on Justin Morneau's broken-bat grounder right to Rusin and was thrown out. After that though consecutive singles from Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez each brought home a run.