Jason Grilli earned his 17th save of the season Sunday in the Pirates' 1-0 defeat of the Astros.
Grilli retired all three batters he faced, needing only 10 pitches. He's been probably the best closer in baseball through the first seven weeks of the 2013 season, boasting a 0.92 ERA, 0.66 WHIP and 31/4 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings. He has not blown an opportunity.
Jeff Locke fired seven scoreless innings Sunday in the Pirates' victory over the Astros.
Locke looked excellent against the hapless Houston offense, yielding only three hits and two walks. He's now 4-1 with a cool 2.73 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 52 2/3 innings this season, but some regression should be expected. Locke will face off against the Brewers next.
Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the Pirates' lineup due to pain in his right knee.
It's not clear at this point how McCutchen suffered the injury or if it might cause him to miss additional games. The Pirates should offer an update on his status soon. Starling Marte will move over to center field to cover for McCutchen, while Travis Snider plays left and Garrett Jones right.
James McDonald (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona on May 27.
That's assuming he gets through bullpen sessions on Tuesday and Friday with no issues. McDonald is slated to go four innings and/or throw 65 pitches for Altoona, so he'll need at least one additional rehab start before being activated. He's not a given to rejoin the rotation once healthy.
John McDonald (back) is also dealing with a right elbow injury.
McDonald landed on the DL last week with a lower back strain, but his elbow has also been an issue. The infielder is eligible to return from the DL on May 30, but it's not clear if he'll be ready at that time.
A.J. Burnett allowed one run over seven innings but took a no-decision as the Pirates lost to the Astros in extra innings on Saturday.
Burnett had the win stolen from him when Mark Melancon surrendered the lead an inning later, but it doesn't take away from his performance. Burnett scattered five hits and four walks in the outing, striking out seven. The right-hander continues his stellar post-Yankees career, as he now owns a 2.57 ERA and 1.10 WHIP on the year. He'll toe the slab again Friday against the Brewers.