Starling Marte's leadoff double started a 3rd-inning breakthrough. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Pirates collected 12 hits, including five with runners in scoring position, to break free of an offensive slump. Meanwhile Francisco Liriano pitched seven shutout innings and recorded his fourth-straight victory in a 5-0 win over the Oakland Athletics.

That is what we call a double-barrel lead, since the Bucs were stellar on both sides Wednesday night for the first-ever franchise win over the A's in 12 tries. The offense and defense arrived after a nearly-three-hour rain delay that pushed back the Pirates' season debut on ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball. Liriano and the Bucs were worth the wait to go to 54-36 on the season.

"We're in a good position right now to make the playoffs," Lir...

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