Locke's complete game a long time coming for Bucs

Locke's complete game a long time coming for Bucs

MIAMI -- The Pirates played 268 times between July 28, 2014, and Monday night without their starting pitcher throwing a complete game. Was Jeff Locke's shutout in Pittsburgh's 10-0 win worth the wait?

"All in all, that may have been the best game I've ever watched in a Pirate uniform," manager Clint Hurdle said Tuesday.

A day after Locke's gem against the Marlins, Hurdle was reflecting on the Pirates' entire performance -- 14 hits, 10 runs and outstanding defense -- but mostly Locke himself.

Locke delivered his first shutout and the Bucs' first complete game in nearly two years. The Pirates went without a "CG" last season, although A.J. Burnett threw nine scoreless frames in an 11-inning win over the Phillies in June.

"I like that pitchers still have that quest and that thirst to do it. They should," Hurdle said. "It's an accomplishment for the team. It's an accomplishment for themselves."

Hurdle gave Locke Monday's lineup card, and Locke kept the ball after the final out. Where will it go? Back home to his biggest fans: his mother, Pam, and father, Alan, in New Hampshire.

"They'll put it with Little League balls and all the other ones. There's not a ton of ones from the big leagues up there," Locke said laughing. "My first [career] pitch is up there, but it's got a scuff mark on it from the dirt it hit in front of the plate. It'll go up there somewhere special."

Rested relievers
Pittsburgh's bullpen didn't totally get to take Memorial Day off from work. A.J. Schugel briefly warmed up after Locke gave up a two-out single in the ninth.

Otherwise, Locke provided Pittsburgh's relievers with a much-needed breather amid a stretch of 21 consecutive games that began May 23 and will end June 12.

"We've got everybody back in a good place," Hurdle said. "Bullpen's in a very, very strong spot right now. That was a big help, big help moving forward."

He said it
Locke narrowly missed his first career "Maddux" -- an accomplishment named after Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux in which a starter completes a shutout on fewer than 100 pitches.

"That would've been pretty sweet," said Locke, who threw 105 pitches. "Then somebody would've complained that they called me in the same category as [Maddux]. I'm sure it'd upset the city pretty bad if you said that."

Prospect wins honor
Right-hander Yeudy Garcia, the Pirates' No. 18 prospect, was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. Garcia, 23, recorded a win and a save while striking out 12 and walking six over 10 scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Bradenton.

That's ... Salsa?
After branching out into the field of relationship advice with his popular "That's Amore" in-game video spots at PNC Park, fan-favorite catcher Francisco Cervelli is getting into the food business. "Cervelli's Signature-Style Salsa" will be available for a limited time at Pittsburgh-area Giant Eagle locations.

"I bet some people will buy it," Hurdle said.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.