Pittsburgh Pirates - PlayerWatch

LHP Jeff Locke has pitched well away from Pittsburgh, with a National League-leading 1.73 ERA on the road. He's 5-0 in his last nine road starts since losing April 7 at Los Angeles. Locke is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in his one career start -- his MLB debut in Sept. 2011 -- against the Marlins.

OF Starling Marte, who entered the game as the NL's leading hitter against left-handed pitching, was stymied by Washington's Gio Gonzalez, going 0-for-3 with a walk against the lefty. However, Marte did pick up his 29th steal of the season, keeping him in third place in the NL in that category.

INF Jordy Mercer extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 3-for-4 performance Thursday. Mercer has hit the Nationals well this season, posting a .375 average in six games against Washington.

OF Josh Harrison hit his first home run of the season in Thursday's contest, a shot to one of the deepest parts of Nationals Park. In just his second start of the season for the Pirates, Harrison picked up three hits, exceeding his entire season total.

RHP Vic Black made his major league debut in the eighth inning of Thursday's loss. Black, considered by many to be the Pirates' closer of the future, took over for RHP Vic Mazzaro with two outs, walking Jayson Werth before striking out Ian Desmond looking on a 97 mph fastball.

OF Jose Tabata was held out of the starting lineup Thursday by Pirates manager Clint Hurdle as a precautionary measure. Tabata was hit on the elbow while pinch hitting Wednesday night and left the game. He did pinch hit in the eighth inning of Thursday's game.