7/2/2013 8:00 P.M. ET
Pennsylvania rivalry means more to fans than players
By Steven Petrella / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- Across all platforms and sports, there will always be a battle for Pennsylvania supremacy between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
But as the Pirates began a three-game set with the Phillies on Tuesday, it's business as usual for Neil Walker, a western Pennsylvania native.
"Being from Pittsburgh, and living that Pittsburgh-Philly rivalry my entire life, I know it means a little bit more maybe to the fans than the players," Walker said. "But at the same time, we're looking to beat up on them for sure."
The Pirates took three of four from the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in late April, and the two teams finish out their season series this week.
Since the teams meet less than the Pirates do with National League Central foes, there isn't as much animosity. And since most players hail from different states and countries, they have no geographical ties to the areas, so it's just business as usual as the Bucs look to extend their season-high nine-game winning streak, their longest since 2004.
"It doesn't change anything. We know that they have a very good team. We've played them three or four times earlier in the year and did well," Walker said. "So it would be nice to start the second half of the year with a good series against them."
Locke scratched from start against Phillies
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates recalled Brandon Cumpton from Triple-A Indianapolis to start Tuesday's game against the Phillies in place of Jeff Locke.
Locke, who is 7-1 with a 2.06 ERA, warmed up extensively Sunday against the Brewers and was set to enter the game in the 15th inning if Russell Martin hadn't driven in the winning run in the 14th. Locke was the only pitcher in the Opening Day rotation not to miss a start this season.
"Jeff was obviously very aggressive in his bullpen, because he was going in to pitch the 15th inning," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's been a very honest self-evaluator for us."
Locke will start on Wednesday instead, and Gerrit Cole will still start Thursday.
Cumpton made two starts in mid-June and allowed four runs, two walks and 12 hits over 10 innings. He struck out eight in two no-decisions.
"Cumpton was probably 13th on our depth chart coming out of Opening Day," Hurdle said. "And for him to come up and pitch two efficient ballgames, giving us a chance to win two Major League games ... he wasn't out of place. His pace and rhythm were good."
The club optioned infielder Josh Harrison to Indianapolis to make room on the 25-man roster.
Tabata goes through rehab assignment without setback
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Tuesday that Jose Tabata's rehab assignment went "as well as we could have hoped."
Tabata has been on the disabled list with a strained left oblique since May 27, and he made his first rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis on June 21. He hit .179 with a .744 OPS in nine games with the Indians.
"There was no re-injury," Hurdle said. "He was able to move forward, get at-bats, play the outfield, run the bases, bunt, attempt to steal. Those types of things."
Brandon Cumpton, who started Tuesday, will likely be optioned to Indianapolis, since he was needed only to give Jeff Locke an extra day of rest. That would leave a roster spot open for Tabata, who is still at Triple-A.
First number, last word
.446: Andrew McCutchen's average in July 2012. He was named National League Player of the Month, and he had seven home runs and 15 RBIs in 25 games.
"It was as efficient a five innings as I've seen pitched. Ever." -- Hurdle, on reliever Vin Mazzaro, who pitched five perfect frames of relief Sunday against the Brewers following a 2-hour, 20-minute rain delay.
• A.J. Burnett threw a simulated game Tuesday while recovering from a torn right calf he sustained in mid-June. Clint Barmes, Gaby Sanchez and Travis Snider all hit against the righty, who also did some fielding practice. Hurdle didn't have an update on Burnett's status Tuesday afternoon.
• Pirates third-base coach Nick Leyva returned Tuesday after dealing with personal issues this past weekend. First-base coach Rick Sofield manned third in his absence.
• A win Tuesday would give the Pirates four straight wins against the Phillies for the first time since 2002.
The Pirates have won 15 games in April, May and June, the first time they've won at least 15 in three straight months since 1991.
• The Pirates signed Jerry Mulderig, their 28th-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, on Tuesday. The junior from Rider University (N.J.) went 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA this season.
Steven Petrella is an associate for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.