OAKLAND — A day after booming a home run into the plaza reserve section above the outfield suites, Chad Pinder connected on yet another long ball on Sunday afternoon, but the Oakland Athletics failed to sweep aside the Boston Red Sox.
“Coming in here, you say, ‘Give us three out of four and you’ll take,’” manager Bob Melvin explained after the 12-3 beatdown. “Granted, once you win three games you want to get greedy and win the last game.”
Pinder’s two-run laser — his third homer in four games — gave the A’s an ephemeral 3-2 advantage in the bottom of the fourth inning. The rookie utility man, who’s up to five home runs in 21 games, was also in the midst of the A’s only other rally. In the bottom of the second, Pinder sent a two-out double zipping into the left-center field gap at 106 mph before racing home on a single from Josh Phegley.
“He’s got some his production in his bat for sure,” Melvin said. “So, he’s in one of those streaks where it seems like — lefty or righty — he’s seeing the ball pretty well.”
In the top of the fifth — half an inning after Pinder’s drive — the guests took the lead for good. The Red Sox pushed across two runs in the frame thanks in part to some underwhelming and unfortunate defense.
Phegley set up the first run by airmailing a throw to second on a stolen-base attempt by Christian Vazquez. The second run came after Mookie Betts raced on all the way from first to home on a grounder that trickled out to left field only because Adam Rosales had abandoned his usual position to cover second on a hit-and-run.
Phegley’s errant throw was one of three errors on the day and gives the team 42 on the season — nine more than any other American League club.
“It gets you off to a slow start and there’s a psychology to not playing good defense,” Melvin said of his club’s woes in the field. “So, it didn’t do [Triggs] any help at the start and then he battled for a while and then really the [Mitch] Moreland homer [in the sixth inning] kind of took the wind out of his sail.”
Triggs posted seven strikeouts in his 5.1 innings of work but also allowed six runs (five earned) on three walks and eight hits. The loudest of those eight hits was the aforementioned Moreland home run, which landed in the right-field plaza deck.
Mayor in the house
Mayor Libby Schaaf was in the building for the Sunday’s matinee on an afternoon when the club announced an attendance of 20,691. The mayor was shown on the Coliseum big screens and later tweeted out a picture of herself sitting in a suite alongside A’s president Dave Kaval.
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