A's bullpen has rough 7th inning as Oakland loses 6-4
Kevin Newman hit a go-ahead two-run triple in the seventh inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the Oakland Athletics 6-4 on Saturday night.
Newman, in his at first-bat in nearly a month thanks to a cut on his right middle finger, ripped a shot down the right-field line off J.B. Wendelken (0-1) to bring home Gregory Polanco and Bryan Reynolds with two outs in the seventh as the Pirates won for the third time in four games.
Francisco Cervelli followed with an RBI single to give Pittsburgh a boost on the same day it lost ace Jameson Taillon for at least a month with a strained right (throwing) elbow.
Josh Bell homered twice for Pittsburgh, taking Oakland starter Chris Bassitt deep in both the second and third innings for the first two-home run game of the first baseman's career. Bell already has eight homers on the season. He didn't reach eight in 2018 until mid-August. Reynolds finished with two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, tying Polanco for the longest streak by a Pittsburgh player to start their career since 1901.
Michael Feliz (1-0) picked up the win in relief after coming on in the seventh when Keone Kela exited with discomfort in his right shoulder after giving up a leadoff double to Oakland rookie Skye Bolt. Felipe Vazquez worked around a two-out single by Marcus Semien to collect his ninth save.
Kris Davis, Kendry Morales and Matt Chapman all had two hits apiece for the Athletics, but Oakland fell to 1-7 on its current nine-game road trip when it couldn't hold an early lead.
The A's, who had a season-high 14 runs Friday night to end a six-game losing streak, jumped on Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams early. Davis and Stephen Piscotty sandwiched RBI singles around a run-scoring triple by Morales to give Oakland a quick 3-0 advantage in the first.
Williams, Pittsburgh's de facto top starter with Taillon and Chris Archer now both out with injuries, settled down after the bumpy first to give his teammates a chance to get back in it. Bell led off the second with a solo shot to the seats in right field and added a two-run blast to left-center in the third to pull Pittsburgh even. Bassitt left after five, giving up three runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Oakland took the lead on Davis' second RBI single in the fifth, but couldn't expand it. Williams gave up four runs and eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings.
The Pirates pulled ahead in the seventh. Polanco doubled with one out. An intentional walk and a fielders' choice put runners on the corners with two outs for Newman. Newman began the regular season expecting to be in the mix for the starting shortstop job only to get hurt a week into the season. He returned to the roster Friday, and Saturday made an immediate impact when the first triple of his career put Pittsburgh ahead to stay.
A's: OF Nick Martini (right knee sprain) will run the bases Tuesday and will then go out for a rehab assignment barring a setback. ... RHP Sean Manaea (left shoulder surgery) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday. ... RHP Jharel Cotton (Tommy John surgery) remains in extended spring training and could work three innings in his next appearance.
A's: Wrap up a nine-game road trip Sunday when they send Frankie Montas (4-2, 2.97 ERA) to the hill. Montas allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to Boston last Monday.
Pirates: Jordan Lyles (2-1, 2.42) lasted just four innings in his previous start, when he gave up two runs on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts in a no-decision against Texas.
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