Last night, Cliff Pennington went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored as the Athletics pounded the Pirates, 14-4, in the opener of a three-game interleague set.
Ryan Sweeney went 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored while Coco Crisp added three hits and three runs scored for the Athletics, who had dropped seven of eight coming in.
Ben Sheets (3-7) benefited from the run support as he snapped a four-start losing streak. He was charged with four runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts over six innings. Also, it was his first win since May 8 as he was held winless in his previous eight starts.
Ryan Doumit drove in two runs while Andrew McCutchen had an RBI and two runs scored for the Pirates, who are stuck in their longest road losing streak since dropping 19 straight from July 23-Aug. 30, 1985.
Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored for Pittsburgh, but left the game in the seventh inning after colliding with right fielder Ryan Church while the two players were trying to snag a foul ball. Walker lay on the ground for several minutes and was tended to by trainers before walking off the field with help from the trainers.
Brad Lincoln (0-2) was tagged with the loss as he was charged with five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout in six innings.
"(Lincoln) wasn't really attacking the zone like he can," said Pittsburgh manager John Russell. "Once he started doing that he had some better innings."
Daniel McCutchen gets the call for the Pirates tonight, as he takes the spot of Zach Duke, who is expected to miss a couple more starts with an elbow strain. The right-hander owns a 4-5 record with a 3.86 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
In three starts for Pittsburgh this season, McCutchen has yet to make it past the fourth inning. He has never faced Oakland before either.
Countering for the A's is Trevor Cahill, who is 5-0 with a 2.62 ERA in seven starts following a loss to theAngels on May 16th. The 22-year-old was last on the hill this past Sunday, when he gave up two earned runs and four hits over six innings of work against St. Louis. He struck out seven, but didn't receive a decision in the team's 3-2 win.
The right-hander, who is 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA in four home starts this season, is making his first career appearance against the Pirates. He, however, is 3-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three interleague starts this season.
The A's are 7-0 all-time against the Pirates and swept a three-game series by the Bay the last time these two clubs met in 2004. Oakland took all three matchups in Pittsburgh during the 2002 campaign.