PITTSBURGH — Roansy Contreras’ day ended not long after it started.
The Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander was knocked out of the game in the top of first as the lowly Oakland Athletics scored seven times in the inning on their way to a 9-4 victory on Wednesday at PNC Park.
The Pirates (32-29) lost consecutive games to the Athletics (14-50), who are on pace to finish the season with a 35-127 record, after winning the opener of a three-game series.
Contreras retired only one of the nine batters he faced as he remained winless since April 26. He was torched for seven runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one.
Contreras (3-5) is winless in his last six starts and dropped his last four decisions.
Rodolfo Castro drove in each of the Pirates’ first three runs with a solo home run in the second inning and a two-run double in the fourth that cut the Athletics’ lead to 7-3.
Connor Joe drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to get the Pirates within 9-4 but Carlos Santana grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the inning. Bryan Reynolds singled in a run in the ninth to cut the deficit to four runs and the Pirates loaded the bases again but Santana popped out and Ke’Bryan Hayes grounded out to end it against Trevor May, who had his first save.
Hayes had three hits each for the Pirates and Castro finished with two. Andrew McCutchen was 1 for 3 with two walks and now has 1,998 career hits.
McCutchen has drawn multiple walks in three straight games, the first Pirates player to do so since Jordy Mercer in 2017.
Things started poorly for Contreras as he walked Ryan Noda to lead off the game. Brent Rooker singled in a run and Jace Peterson hit a two-run double after going 5 for 5 with two home runs and five RBIs in Tuesday night’s 11-2 rout of the Pirates.
Jonah Bride and JJ Bleday hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 5-0. The Athletics added two more runs in the inning when Rob Zastryzny relieved Contreras and issued back-to-back bases-loaded walks to Noda and Seth Brown.
Usually a starter, rookie Luis Ortiz pitched five innings of relief on three days of rest and allowed two runs while throwing 91 pitches. Noda hit a home run off him in the eighth inning then Brown and Rooker hit back-to-back home runs to make it 9-3.
Brown went 3 for 3 with two walks as the Athletics had 17 hits.
Rookie left-hander Hogan Harris (1-0) notched his first major-league win while giving up three runs in five innings. Trevor May bgo
After having Thursday off, the Pirates host the New York Mets in a three-game series beginning Friday night. Left-hander Rich Hill (5-5, 4.41) is scheduled to pitch for the Pirates against Tylor “Big Drip” Megill (5-3, 4.40).