Pittsburgh, PA – Francisco Liriano helped the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Oakland Athletics for the first time in team history on Wednesday with a 5-0 victory.
Pittsburgh came into the game 0-11 against Oakland all-time, but Liriano (9-3) paved the way to snap that streak as he gave up just four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over seven innings to win his fourth straight start.
"The one walk, the six punchouts, just the command of everything tonight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Liriano. "He was just on top of his game."
Pedro Alvarez drove in a pair, while Jose Tabata finished the game with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for the Pirates, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
Coco Crisp had three of the five hits for the Athletics, who had won five of six coming in. Tommy Milone (8-8) lasted just 2 2/3 innings as he gave up three runs on seven hits to lose for the first time in four starts.
"They just made him work," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Milone's outing. "They made him work, got his pitch count up and dunked some hits in there and then squared up a couple and next thing you know he's got a lot of pitches under his belt."
After a nearly three-hour rain delay, the game finally got underway and stayed scoreless until the Pirates went on top in the third. Starling Marte led off with a double and quickly raced home as Tabata followed with a double. Tabata then came home on a single from Andrew McCutchen, who later scored on a base hit to right from Alvarez for a 3-0 lead.
Pittsburgh added two runs in the fourth as Tabata reached on a fielder's choice, moved to third on a McCutchen single and came home on a Russell Martin base hit to center. Alvarez singled to right off Jerry Blevins to plate McCutchen for a 5-0 advantage.
Oakland got a runner to third base in the third, but that was it for the threats Liriano retired the final 10 men he faced.
Justin Wilson kept the A's off the board in the eighth. Jeanmar Gomez closed out the game with a perfect ninth, striking out Nate Freiman to finish off the shutout.
Both teams have off on Thursday as the Pirates will host the Mets starting on Friday, while the A's return home to start a set against Boston ... Liriano moved to 4-4 in 15 games (13 starts) against Oakland in his career ... Pittsburgh batted 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but did strand nine men.