The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-12) lost 4-3 to the Atlanta Braves (14-8) at Turner Field on Sunday in the third game of four-game set.
Right-hander Kevin Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over 4.1 innings. He walked five and didn’t strike out a batter while throwing 101 pitches, 53 strikes.
Correia entered game action with a 2.50 ERA on the road since the beginning of the 2011 season, which ranked fourth in the Majors among pitchers with at least 100 innings behind Roy Halladay (2.13), C.J. Wilson (2.23) and Shaun Marcum (2.36).
The Pirates defense let Correia down by committing two errors in the third inning. Pitcher Tim Hudson hit a routine fly out to center field, but Andrew McCutchen dropped the ball. After Correia walked his next batter, Martin Prado hit what could have been an inning ending double play, but Pedro Alvarez fumbled the ball allowing the bases to be full. Freddie Freeman battled through a nine-pitch at-bat and hit a sac fly to center field to cut the lead, 2-1.
The Braves tied the game up at 2 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Dan Uggla had a leadoff walk and scored on a two-out double by shortstop Tyler Pastornicky.
Michael Bourn led off the fifth inning with a single into center field. Correia walked two of his next three batters to load the bases. The Braves took a 3-2 lead after Correia walked Dan Uggla, his 3rd walk of the inning, to plate a run. Manager Clint Hurdle called upon righty Brad Lincoln from the bullpen, who struck out Chipper Jones looking and Jason Heyward to escape the bases loaded jam.
In Lincoln’s third inning of relief, the righty hung a first-pitch fastball over the plate that Martin Prado took deep to right in the seventh. It marked the first run that Lincoln has allowed this season. Since being recalled on April 18, Lincoln previously combined to toss 6.2 scoreless frames with just one hit, three walks and eight strikeouts.
The Bucs scored two runs off the Braves pitching staff in the second inning. Pedro Alvarez hit a leadoff single to left field. Over his last six games, Alvarez has been swinging a hot bat. He has gone 7-for-21 (.333) with two runs, three doubles, two homers and five RBI. With one out, Michael McKenry hit a base knock to center field and Alex Presley drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Jose Tabata picked up his second hit of the game off Hudson — a two-run single into right field.
Tabata picked up his third hit on the day with a one-out double in the ninth inning off closer Craig Kimbrel. After he advanced to third on the ground out by Andrew McCutchen, he scored on a wild pitch. The Pirates attempted to rally back, but Garrett Jones struck out looking to end the game.
- Relief — Brad Lincoln: 2.0 IP, 2H, R, BB, 2K, HR; Tony Watson: 0.2 IP; Evan Meek: 1.0 IP, H, K
- Alvarez picked up his second hit of the game with a one-out double ripped down the left field line in the 8th. It marked his third double over his last two games. The hit came off lefty reliever Jonny Venters — Alvarez’s second hit off a left-handed pitcher this season (seven at-bats).
- Tabata went 3-for-4 on the day and drove in both runs for the Pirates.
- Alex Presley snapped his 12-game hitting streak after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Jason Grilli struck out the side in the eighth inning of last night’s 4-2 win, and now has 15 strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work this year. Grilli’s 16.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings average ranks second in the Majors among relief pitchers coming into today behind Atlanta’s Johnny Venters (17.6).