Pirates 9, Mets 3

All those aces and All-Stars out there, and it’s Kevin Correia
who has more wins than any of them.

Correia became the first eight-game winner in the majors and the
pesky Pittsburgh Pirates scratched out five infield singles in a
five-run seventh inning to beat the Mets 9-3 on Wednesday night,
sending New York manager Terry Collins into a frustrated postgame
rant.

Andrew McCutchen made a dazzling catch in deep right-center and
Correia (8-4) pitched six poised innings to help the Pirates
improve to 17-14 on the road – matching last season’s win total
away from home.

”That was a target area going in, an area of attention, and our
guys have responded very well to it,” new Pittsburgh manager Clint
Hurdle said. ”So at the end of the day it’s another mile marker
that we’re able to at least put behind us.”

Pittsburgh was a major league-worst 17-64 away from home last
year, but this season has brought quite a turnaround under Hurdle.
Pitching is the prime reason, and Correia is a big part of
that.

The 30-year-old right-hander, signed to an $8 million, two-year
contract in December after spending the past two seasons with San
Diego, is 7-1 with a 2.42 ERA in eight starts on the road.

”I like to wait until the end before I start looking at any of
that stuff,” Correia said. ”Unless they post ’em in the
Bassmaster magazine or a surfer mag, I don’t read a lot of sports
besides those two – or Golf Digest.”

Pittsburgh starters have gone 13 consecutive games without
allowing more than two earned runs. The Pirates said that’s the
longest streak in the majors this season and the club’s longest
since 1984, citing research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

”Kevin pitched great,” Hurdle said. ”It’s never easy. You
just can’t take for granted what they’re doing, because this is the
major leagues and any team on any night can go ahead and drop
something on you. … Our guys have been very impressive.”

Xavier Paul stroked two RBI singles after entering as a
pinch-hitter in the seventh. McCutchen had three hits, legging out
two infield singles, after going 0 for 7 with five strikeouts in
the first two games of the series.

Chris Capuano (3-6) was a hard-luck loser after carrying a
three-hit shutout into the seventh.

”I’m sick of trying to describe seventh innings – about five in
a row,” said the fiery Collins, in his first season as Mets
manager. ”I’m running out of ideas here. I mean, do we play hard?
Absolutely. That’s not the issue. The issue is not effort. That’s
not it. It’s about execution. We have to add on some points when we
get the lead and I’m not looking for home runs. I’m looking for
quality at-bats. We can’t make careless mistakes. We do. We give up
at-bats. We can’t do that. We don’t have that kind of team.”

The Pirates are 4-2 on their seven-game trip and have won six of
their last eight away from home. They have won seven of 10 road
series and can take another one with a victory Thursday afternoon,
when All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes is expected back in the New York
lineup.

Reyes has been on the bereavement list the last three days
following his grandmother’s death.

Pittsburgh won its second straight game at Citi Field after
losing its first eight. Since 2005, the Mets are 18-7 against the
Pirates at home.

”It’s not one guy. It’s not two guys. This is a whole team
thing. And I sit up every night trying to figure out what we can do
to get us over the top,” Collins said. ”I don’t have the answers.
I’m searching. I’m wringing the rag dry of coming in here and
having you look at me like I’m a stinkin’ fool. And I told these
guys: ‘We’re good enough. We’ve got to go play the game right, and
we just can’t continue to make foolish mistakes.”’

Ruben Tejada fisted a two-run single that put New York ahead 2-0
in the fourth and Justin Turner homered in the eighth to cut it to
9-3, snapping a long power outage for the Mets.

Minus injured boppers David Wright and Ike Davis, they had gone
10 games without a home run for the first time since a club-record
drought of 17 games in 1980.

Collins was more concerned with execution.

”They’re big league players. They should be able to do it,” he
said. ”I told the coaches, ‘We’ve got to do a better job. We’ve
got to take responsibility for this.’ I mean, I’m the manager. It
comes back on my shoulders. … Maybe I have to make some
adjustments. And by God, they’ll be made. I don’t know if it comes
with finding different players, but something’s going to be
changed.”

McCutchen made a sensational catch that saved a run in the first
inning, robbing Jason Bay of extra bases.

With a runner on third and two outs, the speedy McCutchen raced
deep into the right-center gap and went sliding across the warning
track to snare Bay’s long drive.

”He’s probably got 10 highlight-film plays already this year
and that one would have to rank at the top, just for the distance
covered,” Hurdle said. ”It’s a major league play.”

McCutchen hit the fence legs first and held up his glove to show
he had the ball. The video-board replay drew gasps from the crowd
of 25,234.

”You don’t want to be running full speed into the wall,”
McCutchen said. ”I just needed something to slow me down. I was
able to judge it pretty good and make a pretty good play.”

NOTES: Pittsburgh won four road series last season and three in
2009. … To make roster room for Reyes, the Mets placed RHP Taylor
Buchholz on the 15-day DL after the game with fatigue in his
pitching shoulder. The move is retroactive to May 30.