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Rain men: Pirates beat Cubs 3-0 after 3½-hour wait

Associated Press Modified: September 18, 2012 at 3:18 am •  Published: September 18, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) — Kevin Correia figured the hitters would be anxious after waiting around for nearly four hours.

He was right.

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.

"In a game that starts at 10:40, the hitters are going to be aggressive," Correia said. "It's not going to be a game where you take a lot of pitches, so if you can pound the zone with quality pitches, you're going to have a decent outing usually."

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, equaling a season high. He whiffed the first four batters he faced and matched his longest outing of the season.

"You can argue this is the best game he's pitched all year — the length, the efficiency, a couple double plays, a couple minor jams he worked right through and out of," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Very good command. It was the start we needed, a very good outing by Kevin."

Jason Grilli pitched a hitless eighth and Hanrahan got three outs for his 36th save in 39 chances. Darwin Barney had both of Chicago's hits.

"You can chalk it up to maybe sitting around all day waiting," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Both teams it seemed were in a daze out there."

The Pirates touched up Cubs starter Travis Wood for three runs in the third 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.

The rookie has tripled in three consecutive games.

"They come in bunches," Hurdle said. "I think the young man has an opportunity to possibly lead the league in triples someday. That's just a lot of usable speed out there. That's the biggest swing of the night for us."

Wood (6-12) worked 5 2-3 innings, giving up four hits. He walked one and struck out a career-high nine.

Hurdle said his team stayed relaxed during the rain delay by watching videos and the Broncos-Falcons NFL game.

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