The Oakland Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates faced each other for one final time this week and the former ball club earned their second victory in as many games, clinching the series after beating Pitt 9-5 on a sunny Tuesday.
It's just the fourth time this season for the A's winning back-to-back games and the third series they've won all year long after getting one from the Atlanta Braves (no typo) at the end of May.
The Athletics took control early in the game with Hogan Harris getting his first start without an opener tossing the ball before him. Oakland demolished Pirates' starter Roansy Contreras putting seven runs up in the top of the first inning alone.
The A's capitalized on walks and hits to generate runs, with Noda, Rooker, Peterson, Bride, and Bleday all contributing to the scoring. The Pirates' starting pitcher, Contreras, struggled and was replaced by Rob Zastryzny before the end of the first stanza with Oakland already up 5-0.
In the bottom of the second, the Pirates managed to get a run back when Rodolfo Castro homered off a Harris throw. However, the Athletics maintained their lead and composure for the remainder of the matchup without much trouble.
The third inning saw no additional scoring, but the Pirates' Castro hit a double in the bottom of the fourth inning to bring the score to 7-3, still in favor of the Athletics.
Both teams remained relatively quiet until the top of the seventh inning when the Athletics added two more runs. Ryan Noda hit a home run, and Brent Rooker doubled to extend their lead to 9-3 bringing Seth Brown home.
The Pirates fought back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring one run on a walk with the bases loaded. The score stood at 9-4 then, and only one other run got added to the scoreboard on either side later on.
The eighth and ninth innings remained scoreless for both teams, resulting in a final score of 9-5 in favor of the Athletics on a bottom-of-the-9th single by Ryan Reynolds.
Harris earned the win for the Athletics, pitching five innings and allowing three earned runs logging a couple of Ks, and walking three. Contreras took the loss for the Pirates, not making it out of the first inning putting just one man out while giving up seven earned runs. Trevor May earned the save for the Athletics, pitching the final 0.2 innings without allowing any runs.
The Athletics avoided getting past their 50th loss of the season while winning their 14th game of the year. Judging by the latest results (back-to-back wins) and the news coming from Las Vegas, the A's might never lose again.