Chad Pinder, center, awaits his turn to bat while Khris Davis, left, speaks with an assistant coach and manager Bob Melvin stands by. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

Chad Pinder, center, awaits his turn to bat while Khris Davis, left, speaks with an assistant coach and manager Bob Melvin stands by. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

Oakland Athletics: Chad Pinder slugs grand slam as A’s clinch series in Toronto

Until the eighth inning of Saturday’s matinee in Toronto, the Oakland Athletics looked as though they’d have to settle for at best a series split with the host Blue Jays.

Starter Sean Manaea had allowed four runs in the fifth, and the A’s were cowed by Toronto starter Sam Gaviglio. Then came the eighth.

With two outs, Chad Pinder slugged his first career grand slam, giving Oakland the lead for good in a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays, guaranteeing a series victory and a winning road trip.

Last season, the A’s got four go-ahead grand slams (with the last coming from Jed Lowrie on Sept. 19, 2017), and had six overall.

Until that eighth inning, though, it had been a frustrating affair for Oakland, with Gio Urshela giving Toronto (22-24) the lead with a two-run homer in the fifth. The Blue Jays added on with a Yangervis Solarte RBI double and a Kevin Pillar sac fly.

Offensively, the first seven innings were quiet for the A’s as Gaviglio utilized great command and a generous strike zone from home plate umpire Shane Livensparger. Oakland’s one major threat came in the sixth when Khris Davis doubled and Matt Olson walked with one out. Gaviglio was then replaced by Seunghwan Oh, who got Stephen Piscotty to fly out before issuing a walk to Dustin Fowler. With the bases loaded, Oh got Jonathan Lucroy to ground out harmlessly to end the inning.

The eighth was a different story as Oakland (24-22) teed off on a pair of former A’s relievers. John Axford walked Matt Chapman, Davis singled and Piscotty broke the shutout with a one-out single. Tyler Clippard came in and got Fowler to fly out to center, but after Jed Lowrie worked a pinch-hit walk, Pinder came to the plate and delivered an opposite-field blast to stun the Canadian fans and put the visitors in front.

Emilio Pagan — who pitched two scoreless innings in his first appearance since returning from Triple-A Nashville — got the win in relief. He reached 96 on the radar gun as he worked around a leadoff double in the sixth and a one-out walk in the seventh. After the A’s took the lead, Lou Trivino took care of the eighth, allowing a two-out walk to Dwight Smith Jr. before getting pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson to pop out. Blake Treinen picked up his 10th save, walking Justin Smoak on a close pitch that could have ended the game. Undeterred, he struck out Solarte on three pitches to end it.

Gaviglio allowed one walk and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out six. Manaea five hits and three walks while only striking out two. blake treinenchad pinderJed LowrieKhris DavisLou TrivinoMLBOakland A'sOakland Athleticssean manaeaToronto Blue Jays

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

The City has struggled to conduct outreach in some neighborhoods as it works to expand Slow Streets — such as this section of Page Street in the Lower Haight — to underserved neighborhoods. <ins>(Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SFMTA delays vote on Bayview Slow Streets, approves five others in ‘underserved’ areas

SFMTA struggles to conduct outreach in neighborhoods with lower internet access

Stern Grove Festival organizers are planning to bring back the popular summer concert series — The Isley Brothers show in 2019 is pictured — with limited audience capacity. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Indoor shows won’t be flooding SF stages soon but Stern Grove might be back in June

While San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that live performances may resume… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto  (47) started on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on April 9, 2021. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants welcome fans back with strong performance by Cueto

By Ethan Kassel Special to S.F. Examiner ORACLE PARK — The first… Continue reading

James Harbor appears in court after he was arrested on charges in the July 4th shooting death of 6-year-old Jace Young on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Murder case heads to trial over killing of 6-year-old Jace Young

Hearing reveals new details in ‘horrific’ Fourth of July shooting

BART passengers may see more frequent service by this fall. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART service increases possible as soon as September

Proposal would double weekday, daytime trains and extend system operating hours

Most Read