I will readily admit that I didn’t see this coming. The Pirates won easily and took three of four from the Reds in Cincinnati. Tonight’s game was a good mix of outstanding pitching and a team effort on offense. It all added up to an easy peasy win.
Just as in yesterday’s game, the Reds starter – in tonight’s game it was Travis Wood – ran into trouble in the first inning. A walk to Jose Tabata and three straight singles from Matt Diaz, Neil Walker and Steve Pearce made it 2-0. Chris Snyder’s two out single gave Kevin Correia a three run cushion before he’d even thrown a pitch.
Correia pitched a dandy. The only blemish came in the second. Scott Rolen bounced one into the stands for a double. He went to third on a passed ball from Snyder. He scored when Pearce made an error on a ball off the bat of Jonny Gomes. Correia would surrender just two walks and no more hits through seven innings. He gave up a two out, two run homer to Chris Heisey in the ninth. Then Pat Benatar sang ‘It’s a little too little, it’s a little too late.’
Pittsburgh put the game away in the fourth. Snyder and ronny Cedeno hit consecutive singles to start the inning. Correia successfully sacrificed to move them both up. Andrew McCutchen doubled to score both runners and drive Wood from the game. Jordan Smith game in and after striking out Tabata he yielded a single to Matt Diaz to make it 6-0. Walker drew a base on balls and Pearce singled in a run. Lyle Overbay doubled to plate one more.
Diaz was hit by a pitch with the bases juiced to bring in another run in the fifth inning.
Wood scattered 10 hits while giving up eight hits, one walk and six runs. He struck out three. Correia was stellar. He went the distance, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits. He struck out five and walked two.
Back to .500.
Correia, Correia, Correia.
Every starter had two hits or drove in two runs.
Nine runs is a 2011 high.
Other than the error from Pearce and the passed ball from Snyder, nothing at all.
This was Correia’s second complete game in his career.
Bucs were 7-9 after 16 games in 2010. The Pirates were 12-12 on 5/3/09 and that’s the last time they were at .500 later than this.
Correia has won his last four decisions against the Reds. He is now 7-1 in his career. The current batch of Redleg hitters came into the game with a .301 collective batting average against Correia. The Pirates team BA against Wood was .063 (1-16).
Combined in 2009 and 2010, the Pirates won only four games at Great American Ballpark. The last time the Pirates took three of four on the road against Cincinnati was May 2007.