Game Result: A’s play home run derby to continue roll vs. Red Sox, for 3rd win in a row
It was a battle of one-upmanship for the A’s in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Mark Canha, the hero of Oakland’s victory the night before, tied the game when he unloaded on a 453-foot home run, at the time the A’s longest of the season.
Khris Davis, the team’s cleanup and leading home run hitter, then took his turn. Following a Jed Lowrie single, Davis crushed a 429-foot blast to center field that gave the A’s their first lead.
But Chad Pinder stole the show. He welcomed reliever Noe Ramirez to the game by attacking his first pitch and sending it to the second deck of the seats in left center field. It cleared the 388 foot sign and 15-foot wall, soared over the first deck and a set of luxury boxes before landing in the plaza reserve seating of the Coliseum’s outfield structure.
The A’s believe Pinder to be just the fourth player to have reached those seats since the stadium was renovated in 1995 to accommodate the Raiders’ return to Oakland. The Giants’ Jarrett Parker is the last to do it on Sept. 25, 2015, while the Colorado Rockies’ Larry Walker also did it July 19, 1999 and Mark McGwire did it for the A’s on May 7, 1996. The ball traveled an estimated 460 feet, according to Statcast.
Lowrie added the A’s fourth home run of the game an inning later as Oakland continued its power surge. They’ve hit 29 home runs over their last 14 games and have 63 on the season, which at least temporarily moved them past the New York Yankees for the most in the American League.
Since returning home from a 1-6 road trip, the A’s (20-23) continue to enjoy the comforts of home by winning their third straight against Boston. They’re now 14-8 on home and go for the four-game sweep Sunday behind Andrew Triggs, who at 5-2 with a 2.12 ERA has been their best starter this year.
A’s manager Bob Melvin wasn’t around to much of this one. He was ejected from the game in the second inning after arguing a ruling that, for a few minutes at least, prevented the A’s from scoring a run.
With runners at second and third, Josh Phegley checked in swing and hit a little dribbler out in front of the plate. Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez fielded it but his throw to first sailed down the right field line. By the time the ball reached the Boston bullpen and was ruled out of play, Phegley was on his way to third and Pinder — the runner at first — was heading home.
But because the ball went out of play, umpires awarded each runner just two bases and forced Pinder to come back out of the dugout to third and pushed Phegley back to second. Melvin came out to argue the call and was tossed by third base umpire and crew chief Mike Winters as he began making his walk back to the dugout.
Two batters later, the A’s got the run Melvin was arguing they deserved when Rajai Davis dropped down a two-out bunt single that scored Pinder and tied it up at 2.
The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, with a two-base error on first baseman Ryon Healy putting a man in scoring position to set up Dustin Pedroia’s RBI single to put an unearned run on Sean Manaea’s ledger. The A’s lefty was done after five innings of work and allowed three runs on five hits.
But instead of being in line for a loss, the A’s powered their way back into the lead against the Boston bullpen.
Former A’s pitcher Drew Pomeranz started the game, but he was done after four innings thanks to a pitch count that reached 97. He allowed five hits and two runs, one of which was unearned.
Ben Taylor took over his relief and didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced, giving up the home runs to Canha and Davis, plus the single to Lowrie and a walk to Trevor Plouffe that preceded his moonshot.
Frankie Montas pitched three scoreless innings of relief as the A’s bullpen has now gone 25 straight scoreless innings at home.