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A’s take series with 9-5 win over Pirates

Hogan Harris earns first MLB win behind red hot A’s offense

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics secured their third series win of the season Wednesday with a 9-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hogan Harris made his major league starting debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates and it was a memorable one for the lefty. The A’s picked up where they left off last night and jumped out to a 7-0 lead against the Pirates in Wednesday’s series finale to start the first inning.

Ryan Noda had a leadoff walk and Seth Brown singled to put runners on first and second. Brent Rooker singled, scoring Noda and from there the flood gates opened.

With the bases loaded, Jace Peterson continued his impressive performance at the plate with a double that scored both Seth Brown and Brent Rooker.

Jonah Bride added to the hit parade with a single to center field that scored Ramon Laureano. Not to be out done, JJ Bleday ripped a single and scored Jace Peterson.

After Contreras walked in Bride and Bleday, Pirates skipper Derek Shelton had seen enough and made a call to the bullpen. The Pittsburgh starter gave up six hits, and seven earned runs and retired just one batter. Reliever Rob Zastryzny entered the game, walked Ryan Noda and Seth Brown, which scored both Jonah Bride and JJ Bleday. The lefty was able to strike out Rooker and get Laureano to groundout to end the inning but the damage was done.

Hogan Harris walked Andrew McCutchen to lead off the first and then the Oakland defense did the rest with a 5-4-3 double play and a spectacular Ryan Noda over the shoulder catch ended the inning.

Harris allowed a solo home run to Rodolfo Castro with two outs in the second to make it 7-1.

The A’s threatened again in the fourth. Ramon Laureano singled to left field in the fourth, extending his hitting streak to nine in a row. Laureano stole second and Luis Ortiz walked Jace Peterson and then gave up a single to Jonah Bride to load the bases. However, they were unable to cash in as Shea Langeliers lined into a 3-5 double play to end the threat.

The Pirates drew closer against Harris in the fourth. Harris walked Carlos Santana with one out and then allowed a single to Ke’Bryan Hayes. With runners at first and second, Castro doubled to bring home both runners to cut Oakland’s lead to 7-3.

Harris worked around a one out walk to McCutchen in the fifth, but then retired Bryan Reynolds and Connor Joe to leave him stranded.

It was another good performance by Harris who was making his first major league start. He allowed four hits, three walks and three runs over five innings. He struck out two while throwing 75 pitches.

Ryan Noda extended the A’s lead in the seventh with an opposite field homer and Seth Brown and Brent Rooker followed that up with back-to-back doubles. Rooker’s double scored Brown to extend Oakland’s lead to 9-3.

The Pirates got one of those runs back in the seventh against Ken Waldichuk who loaded the bases with a single and a pair of walks. He then issued another walk to Connor Joe which forced in a run to make it 9-4.

Waldichuk allowed a leadoff single to Hayes in the eighth, but he was erased as Castro grounded into a double play. Waldichuk then struck out Josh Palacios to end the inning.

The Pirates scratched across another run in the ninth as Waldichuk walked Ji Hwan Bae and then hit Jason Delay. Bae moved over to third on a ground out by McCutchen and Reynolds brought him home with a single to right to make it 9-5. Mark Kotsay then turned to Trevor May who allowed a single to pinch hitter Tucupita Marcano, but then got Santana to fly out and Hayes to ground out to end the game.

The seven-run first inning was a huge boost for the A’s and Harris did a good job getting them through five innings with the lead. Waldichuk was shaky again, but the bullpen did enough to secure the win. Oakland pounded out 17 hits in the win and were 7-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

The A’s will enjoy an off day Thursday before heading to Milwaukee where they will begin a three-game series against the Brewers Friday.