The Pittsburgh Pirates played the last two games as if they were in mid-season form. The Bucs notched another victory against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night at PNC Park by a score of 5-1.
Starling Marte had another stellar night at the plate, collecting three hits, scoring two runs and stealing two bases. Garrett Jones also had a great night at the plate, belting a home run in the fifth and driving in two runs.
The Pirates struck early in the bottom of the first. Starling Marte led off the game with a double to right and moved to third on a groundout by Alex Presley. Andrew McCutchen grounded out to short in the next at bat, but Marte scored on the play putting the Bucs up 1-0.
The Bucs scored again in the bottom of the second. Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch by Braves’ starter Tommy Hanson, and he swiped second base shortly after with Clint Barmes at the plate. Barmes singled into center field and brought home Harrison, extending the lead to 2-0.
Atlanta struck back in the top of the fourth inning. Former Pirate Lyle Overbay doubled to center field, and he was brought home when Juan Francisco blasted another double into left field, cutting the Bucs’ lead to 2-1.
The Pirates tore the game open in the bottom of the fifth. Marte singled and stole second, and Alex Presley doubled in the next at bat to bring him home, extending the lead to 3-1.
Two batters later, Garrett Jones blasted his 27th homer on the year, a deep shot to right field, bringing in Presley and putting the Pirates up 5-1.
Pirates’ starter Kevin Correia was pulled in the sixth inning, but he gave the Bucs an efficient outing in his final start of 2012. Correia struck out five and only allowed one run.
“When you go into the offseason on a bad one you can’t stop thinking about it for weeks and weeks, so it’s nice just to rest your mind a little bit going into the offseason,” said Correia of his efficient outing.
Justin Wilson, Chris Resop and Bryan Morris combined to pitch the last three innings and secure a Pirates victory.
The 79 victories for the Bucs this season are the most since 1997.
The Pirates play their final game of the season on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park. A.J. Burnett (16-9, 3.43 ERA) gets the starting nod against Braves’ veteran Tim Hudson (16-7, 3.62 ERA) with the first pitch scheduled for 12:35 p.m.