Correia dominant, Bucs win back-to-back series on road
Right-hander Kevin Correia was dominant in the final game of the three game series against the Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis.
He pitched seven scoreless innings (89 pitches), holding the Cardinals to just five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Corriea’s battery mate, Ryan Doumit told Nate Latasch of MLB.com, “He had all his pitches working and he was throwing them for strikes, keeping people off-balance. When you’ve got that combination, you are going to be tough. When you have four pitches and you can locate all four of them, it’s tough to hit.”
Neil Walker added, “He was very much in control, moving it around — inside, outside, cutting, sinking. He was really, really good today, and he was good on Opening Day in Chicago. I think that’s a big confidence booster for him, too, and the way he looked is very encouraging.”
The game remained scoreless until the 4th inning, when the Pirates were able to take a lead. Lyle Overbay lead off the inning by hitting a single to first baseman Albert Pujols, but advanced to second because of a throwing error.
Two batters later, Ryan Doumit doubled to right center to jump ahead, 1-0.
Neil Walker hit his second home run of the year in the 5th to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead. The ball stayed just inside the right field foul pole.
“I thought I hooked it a little bit,” Walker said. “Fortunately, he was kind of throwing hard enough that the barrel couldn’t get too far in front.”
With the lead still intact, Evan Meek took the mound in the 8th inning. Meek, who has had two bad outings this year, pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning.
The Pirates added an insurance run in the top of the 9th after Andrew McCutchen and Lyle Overbay hit back-to-back doubles. McCutchen scored all three runs on the afternoon.
Joel Hanrahan allowed a lead off double to Lance Berkman and a two-out double by Yadier Molina, ending the Pirates shutout.
But Hanrahan worked out of the inning, notching his fourth save of the season –a major league best.
With the 3-1 victory, the Pirates won their first back-to-back road series since August of 2007. The Bucs will have start their home opener on Thursday at 1:35 ET with a 4-2 record.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus pointed out that it was the first time the Pirates have beaten Chris Carpenter since June 29th, 2004 at PNC Park. He had been 11-1 with a 2.12 ERA in 15 starts against them.