Chad Pinder did it again.
Despite the A's losing 9-5 to the Houston Astros at the Coliseum on Friday night, the utility man came through clutch. This time, off the bench.
He replaced right fielder Ka’ai Tom in the bottom of the seventh and hit a two-run homer on the first pitch from Brooks Raley to cut the Astros' lead to 6-4.
“Look, he’s swinging the bat probably as good as anybody on our team right now,” Melvin said after the game.
Melvin was asked whether this, and the previous night’s performance were going to be more of an indication for Pinder to get an everyday role.
In the A's loss to the Astros on Opening Night on Thursday, Pinder got the start in right field and made two stellar catches that were worthy of a highlight reel.
A’s starter Chris Bassitt was relieved for the plays, for obvious reasons, and Melvin just isn’t surprised anymore by the feat.
As far as what this means for Pinder, well, there always will be a spot for him, and it appeared the reason why Tom got the start in right field on Friday was due to the pitching matchup, but A’s general manager David Forst said before he knows Pinder is valuable, and will find his way into the lineup.
Melvin said the same thing.
“We got him in a good spot, he put a good swing on it, and ends up hitting a home run,” Melvin said Friday. “He’ll be in the lineup tomorrow.”
- Center fielder Ramón Laureano slid head-first into first base in the sixth inning and jammed his left wrist. Melvin said he received x-rays and there is no structural damage.
- Catcher Sean Murphy was scratched last minute from Friday’s lineup after he sustained a right wrist contusion due to being hit by a pitch Thursday night. For now, he’s “up in the air,” as far as his return is concerned. It could be another day until he’s back, Melvin said it’s a 50/50 chance he’s back on Saturday.