SAN DIEGO -- Despite having two fresh arms in callups Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle tabbed Kevin Correia, who pitched two innings in Pittsburgh's 19-inning win on Sunday, as the starter for Monday's series opener with the Padres.
Correia threw 24 pitches in two scoreless innings against the Cardinals, and will become the first Pirate since 1981 to start a game a day after appearing in relief. Part of the reason for choosing Correia, Hurdle said, was simply his willingness to take the ball.
"Before we even tried to evaluate, Correia came out of the game ... and he reached out and said, 'Hey, whatever you guys need tomorrow, I can give you some innings,'" Hurdle said.
Another part of the decision was that Correia is a known quantity for Hurdle and his staff. The righty was a part of the Pittsburgh rotation until recently, with 21 starts in 23 appearances. He's 9-7 with a 4.56 ERA overall.
But, more importantly to Hurdle, Petco Park is a known quantity for Correia. The 31-year-old is a San Diego native who went 22-21 in 61 appearances for the Padres in 2009 and '10.
"I feel confident in Kevin being able to know he can pitch here," Hurdle said. "He's had success here. He knows this team. I leaned more in that direction of doing that than the unknown."
Hurdle said he doesn't anticipate Correia going much further than 75 pitches. Both McPherson and Wilson will be available in relief, as will Jason Grilli, Joel Hanrahan and Tony Watson. Chris Resop and Jared Hughes will both be unavailable to back Correia after being stretched over the weekend.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.