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Andrew McCutchen leads Pirates to nail-biting win over A’s

Cutch’s bases-loaded walk and eighth inning sac fly helped lead the Pirates to victory.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Pittsburgh Pirates Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing is easy in the game of baseball and Monday night proved that statement for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Oakland, who entered the game with the worst record in baseball at 12-49, jumped out to an early lead in the first after a RBI single by Ryan Noda. Prior to the hit, a catcher’s interference call by Austin Hedges allowed Esteury Ruiz to reach base and he later stole his league-leading 29th base to move into scoring position.

In the third, Seth Brown doubled home an insurance run and Carlos Perez followed with a sacrifice fly.

Connor Joe got the Pirates on the board with a RBI double in the fifth, but a strikeout to Rodolfo Castro thwarted the early rally a few hitters later.

Oakland fumbled the lead in the sixth as four consecutive walks allowed the Pirates to tie the game, then a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Jack Suwinski gave them their first lead. Aledmys Diaz then doubled home the tying run in the top of the eighth, but Angel Perdomo came in to get the final two outs of the frame.

After Ji Hwan Bae and Austin Hedges singled to lead off the bottom of the eighth, Andrew McCutchen came through in the clutch with a go-ahead sacrifice fly to right field.

Colin Holderman shut the door in the ninth with his first-career save.

Game two of the series is Tuesday night. Mitch Keller toes the rubber at 7:05 p.m. in search of his eighth win of the year.