Kevin Correia pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and Starling Marte hit a two-run triple to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Chicago Cubs 3-0 Monday night in a game that was delayed more than 3½ hours by rain.
With the Pirates still in playoff contention, the teams waited out two storms at Wrigley Field that pushed back the start for 3 hours, 37 minutes. The first pitch was thrown at 10:42 p.m. CDT, and Joel Hanrahan delivered the final one at 1:28 a.m. on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh tied Milwaukee for third place in the NL Central at 74-72. Both teams are 2½ games behind division rival St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot, with the Los Angeles Dodgers also in their path.
Correia (11-9) walked one and struck out six. Jason Grilli worked a hitless eighth and Hanrahan got three outs for his 36th save in 39 chances, completing the two-hitter.
The Pirates touched up Cubs starter Travis Wood for three runs in the second inning, including Marte’s key triple. Jose Tabata drove in Marte with a double to deep center.
Clint Barmes was hit by a pitch and Brock Holt’s single up the middle on a 3-2 count sent Barmes to third. After Correia was called out on strikes, Marte tripled to left.
Wood (6-12) worked 5 2-3 innings, giving up four hits. He walked one and struck out a career-high nine.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but reliever Michael Bowden retired Holt on a grounder.
Trying to play spoiler and avoid a 100-loss season, the Cubs (58-89) had won seven of eight.
“It’s kind of both for us right now,” manager Dale Sveum said before the game. “These guys started talking about it a couple of weeks ago about (not) losing 100 games. That’s their motivating factor as well as all of us because nobody wants to be associated with that.
“To be able to sit back and knock people out of the playoffs or knock them one game less, that’s (also) what you get motivated (for) in September when you’re out of it.”
NOTES: The Cubs host NL Central-leading Cincinnati beginning Tuesday night, and Sveum said he doesn’t want the Reds to clinch the division title this week at Wrigley Field. “Nobody wants anybody to clinch on your turf, that’s for sure,” Sveum said. “It’s inevitable that they’ll end up clinching, you just don’t want them to do it at your place.” ... Wood had struck out eight batters three times. ... Cubs 2B Darwin Barney extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with a second-inning single. ... Bryan LaHair has received limited playing time since the arrival of 1B Anthony Rizzo from the minors. Sveum said LaHair’s best bet is to play in the offseason. “I think for his sake he needs to go play winter ball and get those at-bats he missed out on and be ready for spring training like he was this year,” Sveum said. ... Pirates 2B Neil Walker was out of the starting lineup. Walker played in the previous three games after missing 15 because of lower back pain. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said Walker needed a day to rest. ... The State College Spikes, the Pirates’ short-season Class-A affiliate, announced a two-year player development contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Spikes had been affiliated with the Pirates since 2007. Pittsburgh will have to find a new short-season affiliate. ... The Pirates stole four bases in Sunday’s 13-9 loss to the Cubs and are trying to be more aggressive, Hurdle said. “The baserunning numbers aren’t where we want them to be this year — the stolen bases, the caught stealing,” he said. “It’s a work in progress. We’re doing everything we can, everybody, from our player development system on up, to create a mentality.” ... Pittsburgh returns home to host Milwaukee on Tuesday night. A.J. Burnett (15-7) faces Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (15-8).Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.