Cristian Pache was the hero on Saturday in his ninth game with the Athletics.
Pache’s first home run with the A’s was a go-ahead, two-run homer in the ninth inning that silenced the crowd in Toronto and helped seal the win vs. the Blue Jays.
The 23-year-old outfielder explained what he saw from Julian Merryweather (0-2) in those critical moments.
“I noticed that he was throwing a lot of breaking balls so I paid attention to that,” Pache said through an interpreter after the game. “I also saw that he was throwing a lot of curveballs, so I made sure not to miss any of the fastballs and I went out there and I didn’t miss.”
He sure didn’t.
Pache had the biggest hit of the day, but Sean Murphy’s 452-foot homer should also be mentioned.
The A’s took a 5-1 lead by the third, but an eventful sixth inning for the Blue Jays had fans on their feet at Rogers Centre.
After accepting his 2021 Gold Glove Award before Saturday’s game, Matt Chapman had fun in his revenge game. His two-run home run stung his old team to bring his new team within one.
In the very next at-bat, Zack Collins (3-for-4) showed how dangerous the depth of Toronto’s lineup is with a game-tying home run.
But the A’s showed no sign of giving up, and like what appears to be the early theme of the season, they fought to the end.
A masterful outing from Lou Trivino, who struck out three batters after a leadoff walk in the ninth, gave Oakland its impressive fifth win of the season as the A’s hot start to the season got hotter.
At this point, the A’s secured at least a split in the series on a tough 10-game opening road trip. It was another team effort, but Saturday was all about Pache. He proved that he’s more than just an elite defender with tremendous speed. This young man is cinematic.
Pache was acquired from the Braves last month in the deal that sent Matt Olson to Atlanta. It’s early, but his efforts are already promising.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be here with the A’s, they have given me the confidence to demonstrate who I am and what I am capable of,” Pache said through an interpreter after the game.