The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 2, 2012

Bucs’ Correia makes final start a good one

PITTSBURGH — Kevin Correia pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Garrett Jones homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates won consecutive games for the first time in four weeks, beating the Atlanta Braves 5-1 Tuesday night.

A day after being eliminated from the NL East division title race, the wild-card Braves rested several regulars and shuffled players in and out of the lineup throughout the game. Atlanta will host the NL wild-card game Friday.

The Pirates (79-82) are tied for their most wins in a season since their North American major professional sports record streak of 20 losing seasons began in 1993. The Pirates went 79-83 in 1999.

Starling Marte had three hits and scored twice for Pittsburgh, which previously won two straight games Sept. 4-5. The Pirates faded in the second half, ending their run at a playoff spot.

A free agent in the offseason, Correia (12-11) perhaps made his final start after two seasons with Pittsburgh, matching a career-high in wins each year. He allowed six hits and one walk and had five strikeouts.

Jones’ homer was his 27th. He also homered in his previous game Sunday.

After Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings off Tommy Hanson (13-10), Atlanta got its lone run in the fourth when Juan Francisco doubled in Lyle Overbay.

Jones’ homer in the fifth came with Alex Presley on base and made it 5-1.

In what might have been his final appearance of the season, Hanson, who is no lock for the playoff roster, allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings.

Hanson, who struck out six, went almost two months between wins before a strong outing in his previous start.

The Braves have scored a total of 11 runs in their past five games.

Notes: The announced crowd of 15,272 included several thousand Braves fans, many of whom chanted and called for 3B Chipper Jones to make an appearance. Jones, who has said he will retire at the end of the season, delivered the pregame lineup card. By not playing Tuesday, he will not reach 2,500 career games. ... Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman was ejected by third base umpire Jeff Nelson after striking out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. ... Jones has 45 career home runs at PNC Park, tied with Brian Giles for third-most in the ballpark’s 12-year history. ... The Braves will start RHP Ben Sheets (4-4, 3.54 ERA) in the regular season finale today after the Atlanta manager bumped RHP Tim Hudson from the role after the Braves were eliminated from the division title race. Pirates starter A.J. Burnett

(16-9, 3.43) was on the losing end of a no-hitter by Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey in his most recent outing Friday.

 

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