OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Trevor Cahill(notes) hasn’t allowed himself to think about his All-Star status. After opening the season on the disabled list, he wasn’t sure he’d even be back in Oakland. These days he’s the staff ace.
Cahill allowed two hits and struck out a career-high 10 in 7 2-3 innings and Daric Barton(notes) had three doubles and matched his career high with four RBIs and the Athletics earned a 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
Cahill (7-2) walked three as the A’s won two in a row for the first time since winning four straight May 26-29.
“A couple of months ago, when I was in Las Vegas and Sacramento I never thought I’d here,” said Cahill, who had a stress reaction in his right shoulder toward the end of spring training. “It’s an honor just to be considered. We have plenty of guys good enough to be named.”
Cahill improved to 5-0 over his past eight starts and has lowered his ERA to 2.88. He’s allowed 13 earned runs over his past 50 1-3 innings.
“The biggest thing is just going out there with confidence,” Cahill said. “I was able to locate the sinker and go in and out to both right-handers and left-handers.”
“I’m still trying to find my groove,” Suzuki said. “I’m not worried about results right now. It’s more able how I feel in the box. Right now I’m not as comfortable as I want to be.”
“Early on I had some jitters and some nerves,” McCutchen said. “I kind of sped everything up and didn’t give myself a chance the first couple of innings. It’s something to build off of. It would have been a whole different game if I was able to get strike one with the fastball. Pitching behind in the count I was forced to throw too many fastballs.”
Pirates manager John Russell felt McCutchen did some good things.
“He did OK,” Russell said. “He’d get two quick outs and had trouble putting them away. Two-out hits and two-out runs.”
Cahill retired 19 of 21 hitters until tiring in the eighth. He gave up a leadoff single to Lastings Milledge(notes) and walked Jose Tabata(notes) with two outs before Craig Breslow(notes) ended the threat by retiring Andy LaRoche(notes).
The Pirates lost their 16th consecutive road game, their second-longest streak in the past 25 years, and have lost 17 of 19 overall.
“We’ve been hitting pretty good overall but we haven’t been able to outscore the other team,” Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones(notes) said. “Today he was on. He was hitting his spots and he had good stuff. We never got much to hit.”
It was 1970s Turn Back the Clock Game with both teams wearing flashy uniforms from the 70s, with the A’s in bright yellow and green and the Pirates in black and gold. Pittsburgh even dusted off its famed pillbox caps. The Pirates and A’s were dominant teams in the 70s, combining for five World Series titles.
Barton had an RBI double in the first, a two-run double in the second and another run-scoring double in the seventh.
“Coco has been getting on base a lot and it’s helpful to me,” Barton said. “I get a lot of pitches to hit and I’m slowing everything down.”
Suzuki hit his ninth home run of the season in the fifth, a solo shot with two outs.
Notes: Pirates infielder Neil Walker(notes) suffered a concussion after colliding with OF Ryan Church(notes) during Friday night’s game. He’ll miss the rest of the road trip and get re-examined Monday in Pittsburgh. … RHP Steven Jackson(notes) was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for McCutchen. … A’s IF Eric Patterson(notes) was traded to the Boston Red Sox for LHP Fabian Williamson. … A’s manager Bob Geren said he’s considering adjusting the pitching rotation with a day off on Monday. … Barton tied the Oakland record with his three doubles. … Cahill has yet to allow a first-inning run this season, with opponents hitting .071 (3 for 42) in the inning. … Breslow has retired 18 in a row. .. The Pirates lost 19 straight on the road between July 23-Aug. 30, 1985.