Correia, Pirates outlast Cubs 3-2 and avoid sweep
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kevin Correia, in jeopardy of losing his spot in Pittsburgh's crowded starting rotation, won his career-best fifth straight start and Garrett Jones hit a tiebreaking double to lead the Pirates over the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Wednesday.
Correia (8-6) gave up two runs and four hits in six innings, helping Pittsburgh avoid getting swept at home from the first time since Sept. 9-11 against the Marlins.
Jones drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out double in the sixth inning. Neil Walker and Michael McKenry homered for Pittsburgh.
Ryan Dempster (5-5) lost in what might his last start for Chicago, allowing three runs and five hits with in six innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Dempster has declined to comment on whether he would waive his right to veto a potential trade to Atlanta.
His ERA, which had been a major league-leading 2.11, rose to 2.25.
Despite his winning streak, Correia has a 4.82 ERA in his last five starts and is a candidate to be moved to the bullpen following the acquisition of left-hander Wandy Rodriguez from Houston on Tuesday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said before the game that he might also consider going to a six-man rotation, at least temporarily.
Relievers Jared Hughes, Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan followed Correia with one scoreless inning each. Hanrahan recorded his 29th save in 32 chances.
Pittsburgh entered the day leading the NL wild-card standings, and was 2 1/2 games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.
The Pirates pulled ahead 3-2 in the sixth inning when Jones lined a double that scored Alex Presley, who singled with one out and took third on Andrew McCutchen's single.
Both teams hit solo home runs in the first. Rizzo connected for his fifth with two outs for Chicago and Walker countered with his ninth in the bottom half.
The Cubs went back ahead in the fourth as Rizzo singled in David DeJesus, who had doubled, with two outs. The umpires upheld their ruling on DeJesus' double after a video review showed a fan had touched the ball before it went over the center-field fence.
Pittsburgh tied the score when McKenry hit a two-out solo homer off the left-field foul pole. Dempster retired 13 batters in a row between the home runs by Walker and McKenry.
NOTES: Chicago LF Alfonso Soriano got the day off after going 4-for-8 with two home runs and four RBIs in the first two games of the series. ... Rodriguez is expected to join the Pirates on Thursday in Houston when they open a four-game series against the Astros. Rodriguez pitched Monday night against Cincinnati, so the earliest he would likely be able to pitch is Saturday. ... RHP A.J. Burnett (11-3, 3.59) is scheduled to start for the Pirates on Thursday night against LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-2, 4.03). ... Chicago is off Thursday before opening a three-game series Friday against St. Louis. LHP Travis Wood (4-5, 4.33) is the probable starter for the Cubs and will face RHP Lance Lynn (12-4, 3.10).