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COL@PIT: Hurdle talks about the Pirates' 5-4 win

PITTSBURGH -- Kevin Correia slew his PNC Park demons. A little too late to do him any personal good, the Pirates offense also exorcised its bats, halting another string of deviled goose eggs on the scoreboard to mount duplicate comebacks for a 5-4 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday.

The final blow of a combative, entertaining game belonged to Casey McGehee, who singled off Matt Belisle with runners at the corners and two outs in the eighth to snap a 4-4 tie.

"It was nice to be able to pick up a pitcher one time. They've been doing such a good job since Opening Day," McGehee said, referencing yet another outstanding start that, for a pleasant change, did not go for naught. "To be able to pick them up and come back a couple of times was nice."

Tony Watson earned the victory after surrendering Carlos Gonzalez's go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth, with Joel Hanrahan nailing down his third save.

For a 16th consecutive game this season, neither the Bucs nor their opponents topped five runs, tying the season-starting National League record in that regard set by the Pirates of '65.

Next stop: The Major League mark of 17, set by the wartime Detroit Tigers of 1943. With two games against Colorado on tap for Wednesday, the Bucs could tie and claim the record by nightfall.

Clint Barmes had pulled the suddenly-resilient Bucs into a 4-4 tie by leading off the eighth with a homer, his second, off Belisle.

Barmes' blow was no ordinary feat, beyond even the fact he had entered this game still looking for the on-ramp to the Interstate, batting .089. He notched the first earned run since last Sept. 4 against Belisle, who had not surrendered a long ball since Aug. 30.

"It's just one of those tough losses," Gonzalez said. "You have one of the best guys on the mound. But you can't blame it on him."

Barmes went 3-for-3 against his former Rockies teammates, doubling his previous season hits total.

"It was nice to get a pitch like that, and finally do something with it," the shortstop said of the game-tying homer into the left-field corner. "I've been working on trying to get comfortable with my hands, doing some minor tweaks, and it was very nice to finally have a good feel at the plate."

Gonzalez had bookended the Pirates into that deadlock. He greeted Correia with a two-run homer in the first and in the eighth, launched another two-run homer off the left-hander Watson, who was trying to protect a 3-2 lead.

In a case of age before beating, the Bucs waited for Jamie Moyer's departure before jumping the 49-year-old left-hander's relief for a pair of runs in the seventh. Andrew McCutchen's go-ahead two-run double off southpaw Rex Brothers followed Alex Presley's second double of the game and Jose Tabata's bloop single.

"I couldn't believe he kept getting me out," McCutchen said of Moyer, against whom he went down in three at-bats. "Three very frustrating at-bats. But seeing someone throwing 79 [mph] is very different, like seeing someone throwing 100 [mph]. It isn't something you see every day.

"Getting to see another arm [when Brothers replaced Moyer], I was like, 'All right, let's go.'"

Correia began as poorly as possible. When three of the first four batters got hits, everyone had flashbacks to 2011, when the right-hander was 2-8 with a 7.71 ERA at home. Thereafter, however, he pitched as well as possible -- permitting only one other hit over the final 5 2/3 innings of his six-inning start.

Correia's start had been pushed back three days after he had felt some discomfort in his left oblique area.

"It didn't bother me too much," he said. "I didn't feel over-taxed. At the beginning of the game, I was a little cautious. But after that I let it go and felt fine. Really, it was one bad pitch to a really good hitter [Gonzalez]. It woke me up a little but, I think."

In those six innings, he was charged with four hits, two runs and got four strikeouts and one no-decision.

Erik Bedard, the unrewarded left-hander with the 2.63 ERA, is being called the best 0-4 pitcher in baseball. So with its collective 2.80 ERA, is this the best 2-7 rotation in baseball?

"Being able to come back meant a lot, not only to our pitchers but also to the position players," McGehee said. "We've seen a lot of good pitching going by the wayside. Maybe they'll be able to breathe a little easier, knowing they don't have to be perfect every time out. Take a little weight off their shoulders. We should go home feeling pretty good about what we were able to do today."

Given the Bucs' average of two runs per game, Correia appeared to put the game quickly out of his offense's reach by being tagged for Gonzalez's two-run homer in the first.

But the Pirates immediately got one back -- Presley began the bottom of the first with his first double and worked his way home on Tabata's sacrifice bunt and McCutchen's scoring grounder -- and Correia immediately got tough.

"It's easier to crack smiles. I'm proud of the way we battled back," said manager Clint Hurdle. "It was a good night for the offense. We had good at-bats all night." Comments