OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—The Oakland Athletics got fired up by a wayward pitch and then pulled off an unlikely comeback.
“I think it woke us up,” Miller said. “I don’t know what he was doing or what they were thinking. It was a huge spark for us.”
Torres’ first pitch sailed behind Miller about waist high, and plate umpire Kerwin Danley warned both sides. A’s reliever Justin Duchscherer had hit Pirates catcher Jason Kendall with a pitch in the top of the inning.
“There’s no way we think a guy throwing a 55 mph curveball is trying to hit Jason on purpose,” McClendon said. “I’m trying to tell them we’ve lost six in a row and we’re just trying to get a win. We had things lined up the way we wanted, and unfortunately that happens.”
Torres’ next pitch also went behind Miller, earning an instant ejection. McClendon was also ejected as a result.
“I’ve already been issued a warning,” Torres said. “I’m not trying to hit anybody. You have to be crazy or stupid to do that. I’m very disappointed he made the decision especially late in the game and how badly we need this win.”
Torres argued with a fan sitting behind the Pirates dugout as he left the field escorted by a security guard.
The A’s and Pirates combined to hit five batters during Friday night’s 6-1 Oakland victory.
“I told someone I was just going to wait for the right pitch,” Dye said. “I was just patient. The guys were pretty excited when they came back and did that (to Miller). It got us going.”
Arthur Rhodes (3-3) blew his fifth save in 14 opportunities, most in the AL, but got the win when Dye singled.
“It makes no difference coming in the eighth or ninth, I still have to get the outs,” Mesa said. “It wasn’t tough, I just didn’t do my job.”
Bobby Crosby had two RBI doubles as the A’s extended their season-best winning streak to seven games.
“We were tired and (Torres) fired us up,” Crosby said. “Once it happened, we took it right to them. It’s a sweet win. I’ve never seen a guy throw behind a guy twice like that.”
Ruben Mateo had two homers, including his first career grand slam, and Jason Bay collected three hits and drove in two runs as the Pirates lost their seventh straight. His grand slam gave the Pirates a 7-4 lead.
Mateo, who drove in a career-high five runs, tied it with a solo shot off Rhodes leading off the ninth.
“It might be the first time I did that but, when we lose it doesn’t matter how I do,” Mateo said. “It’s no big deal.”
Mesa replaced Torres. He struck out Miller but gave up a homer to Scutaro, the first he’s allowed this year, and consecutive singles to Byrnes, McLemore and Kotsay for another run. Scott Hatteberg added a sacrifice fly to make it 10-9, and Durazo and Crosby followed with their hits.
Mesa had allowed just three runs in his previous 22 innings.
Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong failed to get an out in the fifth, leaving after Dye’s RBI double. He gave up six runs on eight hits in four-plus innings to remain winless (0-6) in 15 career starts on the road.
A’s starter Mark Redman lasted five innings, giving up seven runs on ninehits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Bay was 2-for-18 with no RBIs against left-handed pitching before connecting against Redman. … Hatteberg singled in the seventh to extend his career-high hitting streak to 13 games. … The 3-hour, 59-minute game tied for the sixth-longest nine-inning game in Oakland history. … The A’s are 17-0 against the NL Central. … OF Rob Mackowiak made his second career appearanceat 1B.