PITTSBURGH — Pirates starter Kevin Correia and Dodgers starter Ted Lilly were pitching so well through five innings that it seemed certain the first one to allow a run would end up with the loss.
Few could have probably predicted how things would turn, though, as Correia was touched up for four runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to start the Pirates collapse in a 10-3 loss.
“We kept grinding,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “After last night, when things went wrong for us, to turn it around on the next night, it was really big for us.”
Correia looked strong through five scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out two. He appeared to be on the same wavelength in the top of the sixth as well, recording two quick outs.
But four straight hits put four runs on the board in what seemed like an instant. Jamey Carroll singled and Aaron Miles reached on a bunt. Andre Ethier followed with a bloop single just past a diving attempt by Neil Walker to get the Dodgers (17-20) a 1-0 lead.
“(Miles) put a perfect bunt down, kept the inning alive and the three-hole hitter comes up and fists the ball and the cleanup hitter hits a three-run homer,” Clint Hurdle said. “It looks good when you draw it up that way.”
One pitch later, Matt Kemp hammered a pitch low and inside over the center field wall and in to the bullpen for a 4-0 lead.
The Pirates (18-18) responded in the bottom half of the sixth with two runs off Lilly, starting with a leadoff solo home run by Andrew McCutchen to left field. Jose Tabata followed with a double to right-center and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice.
Walker drove in Tabata with a sacrifice fly to deep right field to close the gap to 4-2.
Correia wasn’t able to calm things down in the seventh, allowing a one-out double to Rod Barajas. Jerry Sands then fired a pitch off Correia’s leg, which trickled to first baseman Steve Pearce.
Pearce tried to field the ball and throw it between his legs to first, but instead threw it far wide and in to foul territory, allowing Barajas to score. With the score 5-2, Hurdle chose to pull Correia after giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.
His record drops to 5-3 on the year — still without a win at PNC Park.
Things only worsened for the Pirates the rest of the way. After Daniel Moskos relieved Correia with a scoreless 2/3 innings to close out the seventh, Mike Crotta and Chris Resop combined to allow five runs in the eighth inning — two of which came by way of Resop walks — widening the Dodgers’ lead to 10-2.
“We were pretty tough to stop tonight, and it’s really fun out there when our bats are going like that,” Lilly said. “The dugout is more fun, and everyone feels a little better about ourselves.”
McCutchen added another solo home run in the eighth on a blast to deep center field, but that was all the Pirates could muster. The loss drop the Bucs back to .500 on the year.
Chris Gates | Bucs Blog