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.