Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 7/11/13
They had to wait a while, but the Pirates finally snapped the losing streak with a very solid shutout victory over Oakland – their first win ever against the A’s. Francisco Liriano delivered the “stopper” performance the Bucs were looking for. The lefty continues to be absolutely sensational – seven efficient shutout innings brought his ERA down below 2, and he struck out six while allowing just four hits and one walk. The month he missed cost him in terms of the stats, but when healthy he has unquestionably been the Bucs’ ace and an incredible acquisition. If you had to pick someone to start a game with the season on the line, he’d have to be the guy, right? The offense finally woke up a bit as well, as some very strong at-bats in the early innings knocked out A’s starter Tommy Milone in just 2.2 innings. Every Bucs starter had at least one hit except for Gaby Sanchez, and he chipped in with two walks. They finally found some holes with runners in scoring position – Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez (who continues to look better against lefties), and Russell Martin all came up big. Very solid game all-around for the Bucs. Anyone that stayed up to watch it has to feel a lot better after a tough week. It was still a series loss, but the Pirates weren’t totally outplayed by one of the AL’s top teams–the Bucs outscored Oakland 7-4 for the series and thoroughly dominated this game after losing two close ones. Pirates 5, Athletics 0 / Box / 2013 Record: 54-36 / Next: Friday, vs. Mets, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
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