2017-05-21 / Sports

Red Sox fall victim to A's home run barrage


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.

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.”

Dustin Pedroia’s single in the fifth gave Boston a 3-2 lead. Ben 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.

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