Jeff Locke has flirted with trouble all season long. He teased again Wednesday night, teetering on the edge of disaster while the game remained tight.
But as he has done all season, Locke made most of those jams disappear to lead the Pirates to a 6-5 victory against the Phillies at PNC Park and pick up his team-leading eighth victory.
"I've never escaped it before," Locke said of pitching through trouble. "This is the first year of my life that I've ever gotten away with my hands clean like I have this season."
After losing his first start of the season, he is the first pitcher in Pirates history to go undefeated in 16 consecutive starts.
Locke said he has been in every type of jam imaginable this season, in part due to a conscious effort to walk dangerous batters to bring up more favorable opposition.

"Thankfully enough, I've whittled my way out of almost all of them," he said. "If that continues, wow, what a special thing that would be. I'm aware of their guys being on base and me being in jams. But the confidence I have to get through those jams is through the roof."
It helped Wednesday having a bit of run support, highlighted by Pedro Alvarez's 21st home run and a 3-for-3, two-run night from Andrew McCutchen.
It was the sixth home run in the past 11 games for the slugging third baseman, who started the season hitting .089 through the first 13 games. Now Alvarez leads the team in home runs and RBIs (56) and is having his name thrown around as an All-Star candidate.
"We're watching a power hitter grow up," manager Clint Hurdle said.