Kevin Correia tossed seven scoreless innings and the Bucs rolled to a 3-1 win over the Cards, taking their second straight road series, a feat last done in August of 2007. And he had to be that sharp; Chris Carpenter, his mound opponent, was 11-1 against Pittsburgh going into today's match.
KC gave up five hits, walked a pair and K'ed three in his seven frames, throwing 89 pitches. He only had one scary moment during the outing. In the fifth, with a runner aboard and two away, he walked Ryan Theriot. The next hitter, Colby Rasmus, almost made him pay when he drove one deep to right.
But Garrett Jones was equal to the task; he got on his horse and with his back against the wall, hauled in Rasmus' blast. And that was the game's defining play.
The Bucs banged out eleven hits, but were 2-for-12 with RISP and stranded eleven. But the three runs they put up were enough this afternoon.
Pittsburgh drew first blood when Lyle Overbay scooted home on Dewey's fourth inning double. They added to the lead in the next frame when Neil Walker curled his second homer of the season just inside the right field pole.
Back-to-back two-out, ground rule doubles by McCutch and Overbay in the ninth added to the cushion. The vet first-sacker's clutch hit came at the end of a ten-pitch at-bat.
Evan Meek got back on the bike and pitched a clean eighth, getting a whiff and a warning-track fly out from Pujols. The Cards nicked Hanny for a run in their last at-bat when Lance Berkman came home on Yadier Molina's two-out double - and that's a pair of long-time Bucco killers - but it was too little, too late.
Now the Pirates steam into town for their opener against the Rockies with a 4-2 slate and a bit of a swagger. Paul Maholm will lock horns with Esmil Rogers.
-- The Bucs won't see Ubaldo Jimenez. The Rox put him on the 15-day DL with a cut thumb.
-- C Chris Snyder, RHPs Brad Lincoln and Jose Ascanio, and LHP Joe Beimel played in an intrasquad game on Tuesday, and are all still day-to-day. Snyder can come off the DL on the 9th, Beimel will rehab at Class A Bradenton when he's ready, Lincoln will report to Indy when he can go, and Ascanio, who is out of options, is anyone's guess for the future.
Scott Olson threw a bullpen session; he doesn't appear to be close to game-ready yet.