Dan Straily pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer and the Oakland Athletics beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-1, on Tuesday night.
Straily (6-2) struck out seven and walked three in 61/3 innings for his second straight strong outing. Grant Balfour worked the ninth to remain perfect in 24 save chances this season. The A’s have won 10 of 13.
Gerrit Cole (4-2) lost his second consecutive decision despite working seven innings for the first time in his four-week major league career. Cole allowed five hits, struck out four and walked two.
After the start was delayed 1 hour, 42 minutes, Pedro Alvarez hit his 23rd home run but Pittsburgh matched a season high with its fourth straight loss.
Straily has struggled starting on four days’ rest during his brief major league career, coming in 0-3 with a 7.16 ERA when not given at least five days between starts.
Yet the rookie had no issues dealing with Pittsburgh’s suddenly punchless offense. The Pirates have scored just six runs during a 2-6 slump that has dropped them behind first-place St. Louis in the heated NL Central race.
Alvarez provided Pittsburgh’s lone run with a 448-foot drive to the bushes in center leading off the second. The home run made him just the third player in team history to reach 23 homers before the All-Star break, joining Ralph Kiner and Willie Stargell.
Walker on disabled list
The Pirates placed second baseman Neil Walker on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his right side and recalled infielder Josh Harrison from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Walker is hitting .244 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 72 games this season.