JJ Bleday, bullpen lead A’s past Pirates for third straight win

OAKLAND — JJ Bleday hit a pair of home runs and the Athletics bullpen did what it’s done all season Tuesday night in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bleday hit a solo home run in the fifth and two-run shot against reliever Josh Fleming in the seventh, his second and third home runs of the season.

Mitch Spence, who pitched three scoreless innings after starter Alex Wood struggled through the first four, was the winning pitcher to improve to 3-1 as the Athletics won their third straight game to improve to 14-17.

Lucas Erceg struck out the side in the eighth inning for the A’s, with Mason Miller finishing it off in the ninth with his eighth save. Miller struck out Jared Triolo with six of eight pitches breaking 100 miles per hour, then got Michael A. Taylor on two sliders. Oneil Cruz was the final out, waving helplessly at a slider on strike three.

Pittsburgh, also 14-17, got a solo home run from Connor Joe in the first inning.

The paid attendance was 3,876, the first time this season the A’s drew less than 4,000 on consecutive nights. Tuesday night’s win over the Pirates had a paid crowd of 3,528.

The A’s took a 3-2 lead in the fifth against Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller (2-3) on a one-out home run to right by Bleday, a drive to right that traveled 399 feet and left the bat at 106.5 miles per hour. Keller finished the fifth before giving way to Luis Ortiz.

Wood, who came in to the game having allowed hitters to post a staggering 1.018 OPS against him, battled himself as much as he took on the Pirates.

Considering he gave up four walks and four hits in four innings and threw 93 pitches, Wood did well to give up just the two runs.

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