Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 6/20/12

The Pirates got off to an excellent start to this week’s homestand, pounding the Twins by a 7-2 score. Even better, they did it with their worst starter on the mound against Minnesota’s best.

Kevin Correia did a very nice job, picking up his first home win in a year. His last one was June 22, 2011 against Baltimore, and all three of his Pirates wins at PNC Park have been against AL opponents. Go figure. Anyway, Kevin was very good tonight, allowing just 4 hits and 1 walk in 5.1 innings of work. I was most impressed with Clint Hurdle giving him the early hook, even though he was pitching well. Correia has had the tendency to fall apart once hitters see him for the third time, and Clint didn’t let that happen. Well done.

The offense stayed hot, as Josh Harrison (assisted by LF Josh Willingham) and Andrew McCutchen blasted homers. Harrison, getting an odd start in right field, had three hits and two stolen bases. He read Twins starter Scott Diamond very well and took advantage of our old buddy Ryan Doumit‘s struggles behind the plate (other Pirates did as well).

Pedro Alvarez also had another big night at the dish. He didn’t go deep, but was 2-for-3 with a walk and another rocket opposite field double. Even Clint Barmes got in on the act, recording three hits to bring his average all the way up to .200!!!! The most impressive thing may have been only two strikeouts on the entire night – a season low.

Once Correia was pulled in the sixth, the bullpen did a fine job of going the rest of the way. Tony Watson struck out Doumit to get out of a bases-loaded jam, and Chris Resop tossed two scoreless innings (and even got to bat–he walked!).  Juan Cruz allowed a two run homer to Denard Span, but the Bucco offense quickly built the comfortable lead back.

Very solid overall win. The Twins looked like a bad team and the Bucs took advantage, as they’ve done all year against struggling opponents. It was great to see Correia bounce back with a good start and the offense remain hot.

Pirates 7, Twins 2 / Box / 2012 Record: 35-31 / Next: Wednesday, vs. Twins, 7:05

MVP: Harrison (+.183) / LVP: Barajas (-.087) / Key play: Harrison’s HR

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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