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PIT@CIN: Correia notches a complete-game victory

CINCINNATI -- For the second straight day, Pirates batters jumped on a Cincinnati starter and gave their own hurler a multirun lead. On Monday night, Kevin Correia made all the extra runs his teammates generated a moot point.

Correia allowed only four hits and two earned runs in throwing the second complete game in four days for the Pirates in a 9-3 win over the Reds on Monday night at Great American Ball Park. The Pirates scored three times in the first inning and then added five more runs in the fourth to back Correia's mastery of the Cincinnati lineup.

The right-hander won his third game in four decisions this season. It took him 109 pitches to earn his second career complete game, including just 28 pitches combined from the fourth to seventh inning.

"I threw a lot of fastballs," said Correia. "You obviously want as many runs as possible, but it's hard to go up there and throw a lot of offspeed pitches and get behind guys when you have that big of a lead. I threw a lot of two-seam fastballs early, and I got people out early."

Neil Walker, Steve Pearce and Chris Snyder all had run-scoring singles in the first inning off Cincinnati starter Travis Wood, who needed 42 pitches to get his first three outs of the game. Wood finished with 84 pitches thrown before he was pulled during the Pirates' fourth-inning outburst. Cincinnati pitchers threw a whopping 196 pitches total in the game.

"We saw pitches, we didn't chase a whole lot," said manager Clint Hurdle. "Early off of Wood, we opened the off-field up. We tried to stay inside the ball and hit the ball to the opposite field and we had some success doing that."

Seven Pirates had two hits in the game: Jose Tabata, Matt Diaz, Pearce, Snyder, Walker, Lyle Overbay and Ronny Cedeno. Andrew McCutchen, Diaz and Pearce each had two RBIs.

The Pirates plated four runs against the Reds and Edinson Volquez in the first inning on Sunday, but needed an RBI single by McCutchen in the eighth inning to pull out a 7-6 win.

There would be no such drama on Monday. The Reds' first hit against Correia was a double off the bat of Scott Rolen leading off the second inning. Rolen went to third on a passed ball by Snyder and scored on a throwing error to first by Pearce. Correia retired 15 Reds in a row at one point before Paul Janish singled with two outs in the eighth inning and Chris Heisey hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

"He's been throwing well," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "It's easier to get quick-pitch innings when you're throwing strikes and you've been on defense for 10, 15, 20 minutes. It was a 3:02 game, and we were on defense for 2:20 of it. It's kind of like a football game -- the defense gets worn out. It happens."

The Pirates all but sealed the game with their first five-run inning since last Sept. 18 in Phoenix. They sent 10 men to the plate in the fourth, with McCutchen delivering a two-run double off the wall in left field. Diaz, Pearce and Overbay also drove in runs in the inning with hits. Overbay doubled in Walker, who had walked, for the final run of the inning.

It was one of 15 hits Pittsburgh had in the game.

"Everybody was hitting and we were working the count," said Pearce, who started at third base in place of Pedro Alvarez. "A lot of people weren't missing the pitches. It was a good night all around for our team. We put up the runs and K.C. went out there and shut them down. That's huge for a team when a pitcher goes out and shoves it right back down their throat and we go back to hitting."

The Pirates took three out of four from the Reds in winning their third straight road series to begin the season. They also improved to 7-3 away from PNC Park. It's the first time they have won their first three series on the road since 2002 and also the team's first series win in Cincinnati since '08, covering its last five trips to the Queen City.

The Pirates outscored the defending division champions, 22-8, in their three victories.

"Everybody is coming here with a new mentality every day," said Tabata. "They bring the same energy every day. You see that it's different from last year. Everybody is focused. I trust my team, and I think this year is going to be a very good year for the Pirates." Comments