LOS ANGELES -- Friday's game was a good indicator of how the Pirates will use 23-year-old starter Jeff Locke for the rest of the season, manager Clint Hurdle said.

Locke was removed after just three innings because of a growing pitch count, as Hurdle took every precaution with the rookie lefty. Hurdle said Locke will be on a 75-80 pitch count for the rest of the season, and even then he'll err on the side of caution.

"He's not gonna go any more than that just because this is a month that he's never pitched in," Hurdle said. "He's at an area of innings that we're gonna have to keep an eye on."

Locke only made five starts with Triple-A Indianapolis, where he impressed with a 2.22 ERA, before he got the September callup. He is slated to pitch next against Cincinnati in Pittsburgh.

"We're not looking for him to throw a complete game or 125 pitches," Hurdle said.

"We're just trying to get him out there, and this is as much about getting to see him pitch as it is with getting many of our young men acclimated into the big leagues."

Hurdle juggling playing time for four catchers

LOS ANGELES -- As if Pirates manager Clint Hurdle wasn't having a tough enough time giving three catchers playing time this September, the club added Matt Pagnozzi off waivers from the Rockies earlier this week.

That leaves Hurdle with 13 games this season and four catchers he wants to give playing time, while balancing winning games now and getting proper evaluations for the club's future.

"You've got to count your games and make sure you get them all in before you're out of games," he said. "I plan on going through a little transition in Arizona."

Michael McKenry got the start on Saturday and Hurdle will go back to the red-hot Ryan Doumit Sunday against Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley because he likes the matchup.

Doumit leads the National League with a .463 batting average this month. He is also hitting .550 against the Dodgers this season.

Then, when the Bucs head to Arizona this week, Hurdle plans to give both Pagnozzi and Jason Jaramillo a start.

"I anticipate J.J. and Matt getting a game in Arizona -- Doumit will catch again tomorrow because of the Billingsley matchup," Hurdle said. "I think he gives us the best chance to win tomorrow. That's the hard part: the best chance to win versus what you need to do for the organization to take looks, and there's reality on both sides of that."

Bucs Bits

• Pirates infield prospect Jordy Mercer was named to the 2011 USA World Cup/Pan Am roster. He'll participate in both the baseball World Cup in Panama City and the Pan American Games in Guadalajara. Mercer hit .239 with six homers in 60 games for Triple-A Indianapolis this season.

• Reliever Jared Hughes, who in the offseason lives about 10 miles from Dodger Stadium, had about 25 friends and family members on hand to watch his scoreless inning Friday.

• James McDonald, the Pirates' starting pitcher Saturday against the Dodgers, made his big league debut exactly three years ago, for Los Angeles.