OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Chad Pinder had never hit a ball that hard or that far — and only slugger Mark McGwire had done so previously for the Oakland Athletics.
Pinder hit a monster home run tracked at 460 feet and Khris Davis and Mark Canha also connected in the fifth inning, and the Oakland Athletics cleared the fences four times in all to beat the Boston Red Sox 8-3 on Saturday for their third straight win.
“Honestly it’s one of those swings where you kind of just black out. You see it and you hit it and you don’t know what happens after,” said Pinder, who put his head down and didn’t even watch the ball land.
His phone was already flooded with messages from friends and family.
Hanley Ramirez homered for Boston, which has lost three in a row.
Jed Lowrie had a solo shot in the sixth for Oakland, which leads the AL with 63 home runs. A’s manager Bob Melvin didn’t see any of them in person after being ejected in the second inning.
While no official records are kept, the A’s had said Pinder’s deep drive into the plaza reserved section was believed to be just the fourth home run to reach the second-deck seating level since it was built in 1996, yet Sean Manaea was quick to point out postgame that Nelson Cruz had one last season for Seattle off the A’s lefty. San Francisco’s Jarrett Parker hit one there in 2015 and Larry Walker did it for Colorado in 1999. McGwire hit one that far against Cleveland in 1996.
“That’s pretty good company, that’s an honor in itself hearing that,” Pinder said of Big Mac. “It’s pretty special.”
Canha homered leading off the fifth against Ben Taylor (0-1). On Friday night, Canha connected in the 10th to give the A’s a 3-2 win.
Manaea (2-3) allowed two earned runs in five innings.
“Everybody just showed up and watched the ball fly,” Manaea said.
Dustin Pedroia’s single in the fifth gave Boston a 3-2 lead. Taylor relieved Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz in the bottom half and the A’s knocked him out before he retired a single batter, scoring five runs in all.
Melvin was ejected for the first time this year in the bottom of the second when he argued with third base umpire and crew chief Mike Winters.
Josh Phegley hit a swinging bunt RBI single that Boston catcher Christian Vazquez scooped up and threw wildly past first down the right field line. Initially, Pinder also came home on the play and Phegley reached third, but the umpires conferred and each had to go back a base. Melvin said afterward he agreed with that call, but declined to say what made him so mad.
Pomeranz labored through four innings against his former club, striking out six but throwing 97 pitches. He and manager John Farrell then talked over the decision.
“He didn’t want to come of the game, so that was the discussion we had, and it’s been settled,” Farrell said.
Pedroia owns a 23-game hitting streak against the A’s, the longest active streak in baseball for one player against any single team.
Red Sox: LHP David Price is scheduled to make one more minor league rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday before he rejoins the Red Sox for his long-awaited season debut. Price pitched two rough innings Friday night in Buffalo, New York, then returned to Boston and was working out at Fenway Park on Saturday. He will throw a light bullpen Sunday. … 1B Mitch Moreland rested with Josh Rutledge playing first. Farrell hopes to get 2B Pedroia a break in Sunday’s series finale so he has two full days off with no game Monday.
Athletics: RHP Ryan Dull (2-2), who pitched a scoreless top of the 10th Friday night as the winning pitcher, went on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right knee after he felt discomfort in the knee on the first pitch he threw to Moreland — the fourth and final batter of the inning. An MRI exam showed no structural damage. RHP John Axford, yet to pitch for the A’s this season because of a strained shoulder, came off the DL. … RHP Daniel Mengden also came off the DL and was optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. … 1B Yonder Alonso missed his third straight game nursing a sore left knee.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-1, 3.05 ERA) took a no-hit bid 7 2-3 innings in his lone start against Oakland last Sept. 4.
Athletics: RHP Andrew Triggs (5-2, 2.12) has gone two straight starts without surrendering a hit to a left-handed batter (0-for-17).
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