The A's and Bucs were looking good, sporting their throwback polyester unis. Oakland even started off like the old A's, plating a run with a lead off check swing single, stolen base, and double, but Daniel McCutchen came back to get the next three hitters, holding it to a 1-0 hole after one.
It didn't get any better in the second. With a runner at first and two away, Coco Crisp, who's hitting the Pirates almost as well as Josh Hamilton did at Texas, hit a liner right at Bobby Crosby, but a quick tail at the end carried it past him. Then a Daric Barton double, his second and on an 0-2 pitch, brought them both home.
In two frames, Crisp had a pair runs scored while Barton had 3 RBI. That's a nice job for the 1-2 hitters, hey?
But DM settled in, and put up a couple of zeroes until two out in the fifth, when Kurt Suzuki lifted a heater over the 388 mark to make it 4-0. That's six home runs in 17 innings for McCutchen, and a major part of his troubles in Pittsburgh.
He went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with two walks and a K. And if he had a do-over on a pair of two-out fastballs to Barton and Suzuki that tailed back over the plate, it would have been a nice outing.
Justin Thomas came in, and was bitten by the Crisp-Barton tag team; he walked Coco and Daric doubled him in to make 5-0 after seven.
Trevor Cahill was merrily mowing down the Bucs. He ran out of gas in the eighth, giving up a single and walk. Cahill left after 7-2/3 innings, yielding two hits, three walks, and striking out a career high ten; his previous best had been seven.
The Pirates went down quietly; they had four well hit balls the entire game - Milledge lined a single and flew out to the 400' mark, as did Garrett Jones, and McCutch smoked one to center, but right at Crisp.
Pedro had another rough night; two K's and a grounder to short. He's a notoriously slow starter, but we'd really like to see some contact, even fouls; right now he's swinging through everything.
Ross Ohlendorf will go against Gio Gonzalez tomorrow afternoon.
-- Neil Walker will miss the rest of the Oakland series with a concussion, and is day-to-day beyond that after taking a Ryan Church knee to the noggin last night. He'll get another exam Monday in Pittsburgh, so he'll likely miss the Cub series, too.
It doesn't seem like he'll have to go on the DL - we'll know about that early next week - which isn't a problem at Oakland, but leaves the team one player short when NL action picks up again Monday.
Bobby Crosby will slide to second, and Ronny Cedeno is back at short; guess Andy LaRoche isn't quite ready for prime time yet.
-- Lastings Milledge made it back into the lineup, even with a righty on the hill. Church has a good mitt, but he's hitting like Aki - and look what happened to him.
-- As expected, Steven Jackson was sent back to Indy and replaced on the roster by Daniel McCutchen.
-- The Pirates have now lost 16 straight road games, the longest stretch of futility since a 19 game streak by the 1985 team.
-- Pittsburgh isn't the only team that can't pack the fans in. Texas, with their long winning streak, had a crowd of 19,567 on Thursday and Oakland only drew 11,154 last night. Oakland brought in 25,000 tonight, but it was their championship celebration; PNC sold out for its 1960 party.
Kinda makes one appreciate the job they do in St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee in keeping their parks filled.