OAKLAND -- David Freese's RBI single in the 10th inning ignited a two-run rally and propelled the Pirates to a 4-2 win over the A's on Saturday night at the Coliseum.Freese pulled a grounder past an outstretched Danny Valencia at third base, plating Erik Kratz, and Gregory Polanco added an
OAKLAND -- David Freese's RBI single in the 10th inning ignited a two-run rally and propelled the Pirates to a 4-2 win over the A's on Saturday night at the Coliseum.
Freese pulled a grounder past an outstretched Danny Valencia at third base, plating Erik Kratz, and Gregory Polanco added an RBI single three batters later. Both runs were charged to Oakland reliever Daniel Coulombe, who suffered his first career loss in his second appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville.
"Not really what you want to do with the ball there," Freese said, smiling, "but it got through, and we tacked on a couple and it worked out."
The A's put runners on the corners in the bottom of the inning, but catcher Stephen Vogt struck out swinging on a Mark Melancon breaking ball to end the game. Melancon picked up his 23rd save, and Juan Nicasio earned the win for the Pirates, who have won six of their last eight games after dropping eight of their previous nine.
"I just like the grit in our club," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I like the way we continue to play and fight."
The 10th-inning rally broke a 2-2 deadlock that stood since the fourth inning. The Pirates came within inches of taking the lead in the top of the ninth on a suicide squeeze attempt by Josh Harrison with runners on second and third. But his bunt toward A's third basemen Danny Valencia was too strong, and Valencia's throw beat a lunging Harrison at first by a hair.
The finish overshadowed the return of A's lefty Rich Hill, who re-joined the team after missing June with a strained groin to make his first start. He didn't factor in the decision, allowing just the two runs over six innings while striking out six in his return from the disabled list.
"He was great," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It was good to have him back, we just didn't give him enough run support."
Hill's lone lapse came the fourth, when he allowed two runs on three hits while hitting Jung Ho Kang and walking Sean Rodriguez. Hill rebounded to retire the last seven batters he faced, and the A's didn't allow a hit between the fourth and eighth innings.
But the fourth inning "didn't sit well" with Hill, who said he expected more out of himself after Oakland provided him a 2-0 lead the inning prior.
"I didn't make pitches and didn't execute," Hill said. "I'll just take the blame for that. That falls completely on my shoulders. Unfortunately I just have to make better pitches."
Pirates rookie Chad Kuhl matched Hill in only his second career start. The righty followed up beating Clayton Kershaw and earning a win in his debut by holding the A's at bay, surrendering just two runs over six innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Deep Freese: Kratz led off the 10th with his third hit as a Pirate, a single to left, and demonstratively pumped his first on his way to first base. Jordy Mercer's sacrifice bunt advanced the 36-year-old backstop into scoring position, and Freese sliced a single to left field. Kratz rumbled toward the plate on an aggressive send from third-base coach Rick Sofield and slid home safely, beating Coco Crisp's throw to the plate.
"Home free," Freese said, smiling. "That guy can move."
Reddick gets robbed: The A's ran into some bad luck in the fifth costing them a run. Josh Reddick roped a liner to right which became stuck in a hole at the base of the Coliseum wall in right. It was ruled a ground-rule double and Jed Lowrie, who likely would've scored on the play, returned to third. Danny Valencia grounded out to end the inning. More >
"I've never hit a hole in one before, even in golf, so I guess this will have to count," Reddick said. "It just [stinks] it did get stuck because Jed was going to score."
Speed thrills: With two outs in the fourth and Andrew McCutchen at third base, left fielder Starling Marte tapped a ground ball toward Valencia. McCutchen rushed home, and Marte hustled down the line, beating Valencia's throw and reaching on an RBI infield single that put the Pirates on the board. After Marte swiped second and Rodriguez drew a two-out walk, Harrison knocked a double down the left-field line that plated Marte, tying the game.
Coco crosses off a milestone: Crisp became the 33rd active player with 300 or more doubles in the third inning Saturday, taking a Kuhl offering to the base of the wall in right. It moved Billy Burns to third, who then scored on a Lowrie sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead. Crisp would later score on a Reddick single.
"I kept looking along the wall. There were no other holes, no other gaps. It was the only one there. He hit it perfectly into that hole. I was like, wow. I was going to go get it, but no, I can't. That was too good. I don't want to ruin it. Let me marvel at it." -- Rodriguez, on Reddick's double getting stuck in the wall
"It's good for us, especially how we've been playing. The flip side, if you play like this and lose these games, it's even worse." -- Freese, on outlasting the A's for two straight nights
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Reddick went 4-for-4 with a walk, tying a career high with four hits. It's the sixth time in his career, and the second this season, he's put together a four-hit game. It was also Reddick's 13th multi-hit game this year.
The Pirates challenged the ruling that Harrison was out at first on his bunt attempt in the ninth, hoping replay would reverse the call and hand them a 3-2 lead. But after a 1:55 review, the call was upheld, ruling the throw beat Harrison.
A crew chief review was called in the 10th inning on a play at the plate. It was initially ruled that Crisp threw out Freese on a play at the plate in the 10th inning. The call was confirmed after a length review lasting 3:40. After the game, Freese said he thought he beat the tag.
"I'm glad that run didn't really matter. They took a while to look at it," Freese said. "Maybe they couldn't quite see if my foot was down. It is what it is. I'm just glad we won."
Pirates: Left-hander Francisco Liriano will try to get back on track as he starts the Pirates' series finale against the A's at the Coliseum. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET. Liriano is 1-7 with a 6.61 ERA over his last nine starts, and the Bucs could use him back in top form as they begin the second half of the season.
A's: Oakland sends rookie Daniel Mengden to the mound in at 1:05 p.m. PT in Sunday's series finale at the Coliseum. The rookie picked up his first win Monday against the Giants, giving up two runs over 7 2/3 innings. He's 1-3 with a 2.81 ERA in what has been a very strong start to his career.
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Adam Berry covers the Pirates for MLB.com.
Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.