OAKLAND — By the time Khris Davis’ seventh home run of the season went soaring into the seats high above the jagged edge in the wall in right-center field, the Oakland Athletics were already well on their way to a 9-1 dismantling of the Texas Rangers and their second win in as many days.
Davis’ fifth-inning two-run shot — the first of the club’s three long balls on the day — makes the left fielder just the fourth player in Oakland history to leave the park seven times in his first 15 games. Jermaine Dye, Jason Giambi and Reggie Jackson are the other three members of the club.
“I like it here. I like coming to this ballpark,” Davis said when asked to explain his affinity for the pitcher-friendly Coliseum. “It’s a grungy stadium, but I don’t need the fancy art-high-tech stadium to perform. I just go out there and play.”
On an afternoon when all nine members of the starting lineup collected a hit, the A’s didn’t waste any time jumping on their guests. Oakland tagged Martin Perez for four runs in the first, tacked on a pair in both the fifth and the sixth and added a final run in the seventh.
“You just kind of want to step on their neck and just keep the gas pedal down,” Davis said. “You never want to go flat and give them a chance to creep back in. That was good to see that we didn’t let them [back in].”
Making his second start of the season and third appearance overall, Jesse Hahn delivered six innings of one-run ball, striking out four, allowing two hits and scattering four walks.
“I think defense won the game today,” Hahn said. “It was unbelieveable. These guys made unbelievable plays behind me. All I had to do was keep the ball in play.”
Pinder impresses in cameo
With second baseman Jed Lowrie getting Wednesday off, Chad Pinder drew his first start of 2017, producing a 2-for-4 showing.
The 24-year-old middle infielder launched a rocket of a double in the fourth then connected on a line-drive home run a couple of innings later.
“Pinder’s a guy we’ve been itching to get in the lineup,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s had such a wonderful career in our system — especially swinging the bat.”
While Melvin has installed Adam Rosales as the starter at shortstop in the absence of Marcus Semien, the injury has also provided an opening for Pinder.
“Now, his bat’s probably a little ahead of his glove and he’s working hard on his defense,” Melvin said. “But he took some good swings today and when he squares it up, it goes a long way.”