Ross Stripling earns his first win since 2022 as Athletics blank Pirates 4-0


OAKLAND, Calif. — Ross Stripling threw six strong scoreless innings to earn his first win in nearly two years, and the Oakland Athletics hit two home runs to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 on Wednesday to complete their first series sweep of the season.

Abraham Toro and Tyler Nevin both went deep to help the A’s to their fourth straight victory in front of another sparse crowd of 4,679 at the Coliseum. Kyle McCann added two hits and an RBI.

Stripling (1-5), acquired from San Francisco in the offseason, had lost 10 consecutive decisions for the A’s and Giants before putting the clamps on the Pirates offense. The veteran right-hander allowed three hits, had two strikeouts and retired the final seven batters he faced to gain his first win since Oct. 1, 2022.

“Last year … I felt like I had no room for error,” Stripling said. “I felt like if I missed with anything, especially fastballs over the plate, it was damage every time. I feel like I’ve thrown the ball well this year. Some outings I haven’t been able to finish as strong as I would have liked, but today was a good one.”

Five Oakland relievers combined for three innings to complete the A’s fourth shutout of the season.

Toro put the A’s ahead early when he belted a 3-1 sinker from Quinn Priester (0-2) to center field that bounced off the top of the fence and went over.

Nevin extended his career-best hitting streak to nine games with his fourth homer of the season in the third to make it 2-0.

“It all starts with our pitching,” Toro said. “I feel like if we can score two or three runs, our pitchers just keep us in the game. They’ve been the main reason why we’ve been winning lately.”

Oakland tacked on an unearned run in the fifth after Nevin reached on an infield single then scored on shortstop Onell Cruz’s throwing error that pulled Rowdy Tellez off the first base bag.

The Pirates missed a chance to score in the fourth inning when the A’s made a pair of errors after Cruz’s leadoff single. With a runner on third base, Oakland shortstop Darrell Hernaiz fielded Tellez’s grounder and threw home to get Cruz sliding across the plate.

Pittsburgh missed another chance when A’s reliever Austin Adams got Bryan Reynolds to strike out swinging with the bases loaded in the seventh.

“When we had to make plays we made plays,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “We’re getting the pitching from both the starters and the bullpen. The offense is scoring enough runs but the pitching and defense is really the story now.”

Priester walked four and allowed five hits and three runs in six innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: C Yasmani Grandal (plantar fasciitis) made another start at DH for Triple-A Indianapolis and is expected to rejoin the big league club soon. … LHP Marco Gonzales (left forearm strain) has yet to resume throwing but the team remains optimistic for a possible quick return.

Athletics: Injured 2B Zack Gelof (left oblique strain) took infield practice before the game.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Martín Pérez (1-1, 2.86 ERA) pitches the series opener against the Rockies on Friday. Pérez has allowed seven runs and 12 hits over his last two starts, covering 9 2/3 innings.

Athletics: LHP JP Sears (1-2, 4.64) faces the Marlins on Friday. Sears was tagged for seven runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Orioles in his previous start.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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