The Oakland Athletics may have the worst record in baseball, but that does not mean they are to be taken lightly. That was evident tonight as they battled with the Pittsburgh Pirates in game one of a three game series at PNC Park. It was a back-and-forth affair, but in the end, Pittsburgh would come out on top by the final of 5-4.
Oakland jumped out on top in the first when Ryan Noda hit an RBI single to center. They would increase that lead with two runs in the third. Seth Brown doubled to center to score Noda. Brent Rooker came in to score when Carlos Perez hit a sac fly. Pittsburgh finally got on the board in the fifth when Connor Joe doubled home Mark Mathias.
The Pirates would use a three run sixth inning to take a one run lead. Andrew McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds would draw back-to-back bases loaded walks to tie the game at three. A sac fly by Jack Suwinski put them ahead 4-3. The Athletics tied the game in the eighth on a Aledmys Diaz double to left center. McCutchen would come through with a sac fly in the bottom half of the inning to score Ji Hwan Bae for what would be the winning run.
Pitching was not great on either side, but Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo powered through to work seven innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Rob Zastryzny only collected one out in the eighth, allowing one run on one hit with two walks. He was replaced by Angel Perdomo who collected the last two outs of the inning, one via strikeout. Colin Holderman allowed three hits in the ninth, but struck out one batter and collected his first save in the process. Austin Hedges threw out Esteury Ruiz for a key first out of the inning.
Oakland starter JP Sears struck out six and walked five, while allowing one run on two hits in 4.2 innings. The Athletics then used four pitchers out of their pen to finish the remaining 3.1 innings. Combined they would allow four runs on four hits with four strikeouts and five walks.
A win is a win, no matter how you get it. A lot of people think that the Pirates should easily sweep this series, but winning this series is just as important and Pittsburgh took a step closer to doing that tonight. First pitch for Tuesday nights game is set for 7:05pm. Mitch Keller will take the ball for the Pirates, while Oakland will counter with James Kaprielian.
Record vs. Athletics: 1-0
Record vs. American League: 11-16
Record at Home: 16-13
Overall Record: 32-27
Let’s Go Bucs!