Rotation stabilized? Kuhl keeps improved pitching going

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Chad Kuhl winds up to pitch in the second inning. - GETTY

LOS ANGELES — It looks rather humble, but since the trade deadline, the Pirates' pitching rotation has been turning its wheels with more torque.

Even when factoring in Jeff Locke's five-run blowup in Atlanta, Pirates starters have the fifth-best ERA in the majors in August at 3.25.

Chad Kuhl's latest start in the Pirates' 11-3 win Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium made it two complete turns for the newfangled group. With the rookie righty allowing two runs in six innings for the second consecutive outing, the Pirates are feeling rather good about Kuhl and the rest of the five-man unit.

"For me, your starting pitchers are your horses," said Sean Rodríguez, who had a stallion-like three hits and four RBIs in the blowout. "Those are the guys you have to make sure are there. ... That's essentially what the biggest key is for a team. You get six to eight quality innings out of your starters on a consistent basis, you're going to win a lot of games."