Correia in control

Fires complete game for best road start to a season since '03

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CINCINNATI -- Kevin Correia pitched well enough to keep the Pirates in a close game.

The Pirates offense ensured he needn't have bothered.

Correia threw a four-hit complete game and the Pirates offense retained momentum from a three-run first inning to beat the Reds, 9-3, Monday at Great American Ball Park.

Correia had a two-hitter until the ninth, when Ramon Hernandez singled and Chris Heisey hit a two-run home run with two outs.

It was the fewest hits Correia allowed since he threw a six-hit complete game Sept. 25, 2009, against the Diamondbacks. He allowed one run on one hit through seven innings, facing the minimum three batters in five of them. From the third through seventh innings he didn't allow a hit. He threw 109 pitches, 73 for strikes. It was the second complete game of the series after Charlie Morton recorded one Friday night.


Game: Pirates vs. Marlins, 7:10 p.m., Sun Life Stadium, Miami.

TV Radio: Root Sports, WPGB-FM 104.7.

Pitching:LHP Paul Maholm (0-2, 2.33 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Volstad (0-1, 5.59).

Key matchup: Maholm vs. Hanley Ramirez, who is 6 for 16 against Maholm with two home runs. This season, though, Ramirez is hitting .244 without a home run.

Hidden stat: In three starts against the Pirates, Volstad is 1-2 with a 7.07 ERA.

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Correia, who signed with the Pirates in the offseason, improved to 3-1. He has allowed eight earned runs in four starts.

The Pirates evened their record at 8-8 and began the season 7-3 on the road for the first time since 2003. They took three of four from the Reds and won their first three road series of the season since 2002, when they took series against the Mets, Cubs and Brewers.

Every Pirates position player had a hit in the game. They took advantage of Reds starter Travis Wood, who allowed six runs on eight hits.

The Pirates scored three runs in the first. Wood walked Jose Tabata, then allowed singles to Matt Diaz, Neil Walker and Steve Pearce. Walker's single scored Tabata and Pearce's single scored Diaz. Chris Snyder later singled to drive home Walker and the Pirates led, 3-0.

Wood threw 42 pitches in the inning.

Cincinnati got one back in the second when Scott Rolen hit a ground-rule double to center and went to third on Snyder's passed ball. Pearce fielded Jonny Gomes' grounder cleanly and looked Rolen back to third, but his throw went high and wide of Lyle Overbay at first and Rolen scored.

Correia walked two batters in the third, but got out of the inning.

Snyder and Ronny Cedeno singled to start the fourth and advanced to second and third on Correia's sacrifice bunt. Andrew McCutchen drove in both of them to make the score 5-1 with his double to the wall in left. That double drove Wood from the game after 31/3 innings.

Jordan Smith replaced Wood, but allowed three more hits, including RBI singles from Diaz and Pearce. Lyle Overbay's RBI double made it 8-1.

Cedeno singled and scored in the fifth to make the Pirates' lead 9-1. They might have scored more, but Walker hit a ball right back at pitcher Matt Maloney with the bases loaded. Maloney started a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.

The Pirates did not score after the fifth.

The Reds brought in reliever Aroldis Chapman and his 100-plus mph fastball in the ninth, and a pitch to McCutchen hit 106 on the stadium scoreboard.

Bill Brink: . First Published April 19, 2011 4:00 AM


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