BY RYAN LEONG
As well as the A’s played against Boston in this four game series, Sunday’s game was forgettable unless you’re a Red Sox fan.
After outscoring the Sox 19-8 in the first three games, the A’s were routed in the finale 12-3, eliminating any hope for the first four-game home sweep of Boston since the team moved to Oakland in 1968. In fact, it last happened in 1932 when the Philadelphia A’s power hitter was Jimmie Foxx and Babe Ruth was still the most popular athlete on the planet.
“It was a good series, enjoy the off-day, and coming in here you say take three out of four (games) you’d take it, A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Granted once you win three games you get greedy and want to win the last game and it felt like we had them on the run a little bit.”
The one A’s highlight was rookie Chad Pinder whose nickname might as well be “dinger” the way he’s been hitting. He homered on Saturday and hit what is arguably the longest homer in the Coliseum since it was “renovated” in 1996. I use quotes because it ruined a once nice ballpark into a concrete mess to accomodate the Raiders. Anyway I digress. Pinder’s homer into the left-centerfield mezzanine seats measured an estimated 460 feet according to MLB.com Statcast. The only other players to homer into that region of the stadium were Larry Walker and Mark McGwire. McGwire likely benefitted from certain “supplements” but Pinder is the right handed version of a young Ted Williams. Lanky and skinny but in very good shape.
The highlight of Saturday’s 8-3 win were three home runs in the fifth inning. Mark Canha who was the hero on Friday with a tenth inning walk-off homer to left, hit a prodigious blast to centerfield estimated at 453 feet. Khris Davis followed with a 429 foot shot. But it was the clout by Pinder that left everyone speechless.
Pinder was short on words until asked to consider that the total distance of the three homers was 1342 feet, a little more than 1/4 of a mile. Replying “That’s pretty crazy uh…yeah that’s wild. You don’t hear that very often. To hit three home runs in an inning, much less home runs like that. KD going off to dead center and you got Canha with another bomb so it’s fun to be part of those innings.”
The A’s aren’t scheduled on Monday and will use the time to host their 35th annual Community Fund Golf Classic held at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville. Many current players along with a number of former ones will participate. Some of the notable names from the past include Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, Vida Blue, Jose Canseco, and Dave Stewart. Former broadcaster Monty Moore will also be in attendance. Proceeds from the private event will benefit the Oakland A’s Community Fund.
The Athletics resume the homestand on Tuesday with a two-game interleague set against the Miami Marlins as Jesse Hahn (1-3, 3.02) gets the ball vs. Miami’s José Ureña (1-2, 1.91), with Sonny Gray (1-1, 3.97) facing off with Edinson Volquez (0-6, 4.87) in the finale on Wednesday.
Ryan Leong is a San Francisco native and covers all Bay Area sports teams as a correspondent for ESPN radio and wire services. He is a former sports anchor for KCBS and has reported on over 3,600 live games since 1998.