Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Braves 4, Pirates 3 Correia Can't Control Battles Walks, Errors, Lack of Timely Hits Costly

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Braves 4, Pirates 3 Correia Can't Control Battles Walks, Errors, Lack of Timely Hits Costly

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Kevin Correia took the mound Sunday with subpar command, and the Atlanta Braves took advantage of it.

The Braves were selective in their trips to the plate, but aggressive at the right times, earning walks and raising Correia's pitch count by extending at-bats.

Two errors and the failure to capitalize with runners in scoring position compounded the effects of Correia's five walks and sent the Pirates to a 4-3 loss Sunday to the Braves at Turner Field.

Correia (1-1) threw 101 pitches, only 53 of them strikes, in 41/ 3 innings and allowed three runs, two of them earned. He had walked only three in his first 18 innings of the season before Sunday.

"I just didn't have great command," Correia said. "The ball wasn't really doing what I expected coming out of my hand."

The Braves' first run scored as a result of two errors and a walk, their second run reached base on a walk and their third scored when Correia issued a bases-loaded base on balls. Martin Prado hit a solo home run in the seventh for their fourth run.

"I think the one thing their team has done extremely well the last three days is they've battled at-bats," manager Clint Hurdle said. "[Correia] was grinding out there, he was battling. We didn't defend very well in the one inning, which probably stacked another 18 to 20 pitches on his load."

With the exception of Jeff Karstens' injury-shortened one-inning start, Correia's outing was only the second this season in which a Pirates starter did not pitch at least five innings. In the other, James McDonald's four-inning outing April 18, McDonald was pulled for a pinch-hitter with two runners on base in the fifth.

Jose Tabata had three hits and two RBIs, and Garrett Jones, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez each doubled. Tabata has hits in each of his past five games and is 9 for 22 in that span.

"I think I'm finding my swing," Tabata said. "I feel better. I feel more comfortable and [have] more trust in myself. You see what happened in the last five days."

The Pirates got six hits against Braves starter Tim Hudson (1- 0), who made his first start of the season after rehabilitating from offseason back surgery, but could not do much once he left the game. …

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