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Locke taking his tough luck with leads in stride

Locke taking his tough luck with leads in stride play video for Locke taking his tough luck with leads in stride

WASHINGTON -- Jeff Locke won rotation tenure Saturday night, with 5 2/3 innings of shutout pitching taking him out of consideration for giving up his spot for Gerrit Cole's return.

What Locke did not win, however, was the game. The 3-0 lead over the Nationals he had bequeathed to the Pirates' bullpen became a 4-3 walk-off loss.

It was the latest tough pill fed to the lefty, who does have a winning record (4-3) that would be far better if his pitching days did not match up with some of the Buccos bullpen's poorer days.

Saturday's game represented the 10th time Locke departed with a lead. He has won four of those.

"I'm OK with that," said Locke, who was surprised to learn how often his leads have not held up. "Those [relievers] have done great all year and when they stumble, it just happens to be me this year.

"But they've won me a ton of games. [Blown leads are] a collective effect, because we're all trying to get to the same place. It'll get scary when we get rolling, the way we should."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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