OAKLAND – Chad Pinder is making it extremely difficult for A's manager Bob Melvin to keep him out of the starting lineup.
The A's utility star continued his breakout season Wednesday, going 2-for-5 with the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, as Oakland completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with a 6-5 win.
Walk 👏 It 👏 Off 👏 Chad 👏 Pinder 👏 pic.twitter.com/Y2Z2zv2ekp— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 24, 2019
"I'm just trying to stay short and put a good swing on a pitch that I can handle," Pinder said of his first career walk-off hit. "It was awesome. That was a big one for us, a three-game sweep, especially after taking three losses from the Blue Jays."
Pinder also got it done with his glove Wednesday, making a diving catch in left field to rob Shin-Soo Choo of a base hit in the fifth inning.
"He contributes," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Pinder. "If he has a slow offensive day, he contributes defensively. He gets big hits. He does timely things, as you saw again today. ... He's a smart player on top of everything."
Pinder is slashing .320/.342/.507 in 75 at-bats this season, with three home runs and 11 RBI. The 27-year-old started all three games this series against the Rangers -- two in left field and one at second base -- and proceeded to go 6-for-14 with three RBI and three runs scored.
"It's nice," Pinder said of his current hot streak. "When you're getting consistent at-bats, it gets you on a little bit of a roll. It's been good for me."
Pinder's .320 batting average leads the entire team and his .848 OPS ranks third, behind only Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien.
"The more he gets to play, the more he contributes," Melvin said. "You watch his day today, he didn't have great swings but he shoots a ball over there to right field with two strikes. In that at-bat, he's not trying to do too much.
"There are days that you feel really good about yourself and you feel kind of invincible. There are other days where maybe you're not feeling great and you do the best you can and identify how you're going to be pitched and not try to do too much. He's aware of all those things."
Pinder has already proven he can play just about any position on the diamond. Now he's proving he belongs in the starting lineup every game.