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A’s seal a series sweep from Texas on Pinder’s first career walkoff

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In a game that featured five total home runs, it was a flared single that gave the Athletics their first walkoff win of the season, the first of Chad Pinder‘s career. After dropping all three to the Blue Jays, the A’s (14-13) earned a split homestand with Wednesday’s 6-5 victory and sweep of Texas (12-11).

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the A’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.
Aaron Brooks (ND, 2-2, 5.33 ERA) pitched fairly well overall, despite allowing two of the Rangers’ three home runs — pushing his season total to six in just five starts. Both homers, though, were solo shots, keeping the damage to a bare minimum. Manager Bob Melvin was appreciative of Brooks’ effort:
“He got off to a little bit of a slow start. He got the double-play ball. They nick him up for a couple runs, but at the end of the day he comes out after five, we score our runs that inning, he ends up leaving with the lead. Maybe not his best outing today, but kept us in the game.”
Brooks thought he was able to execute when absolutely necessary:
“I felt like I made some good pitches when I had to. The homer to [Nomar] Mazara I thought was a decent pitch, he just got on it. He’s a good hitter. The other homer was kind of just a ball that got away from me in the middle of the plate. I was fortunate to make good big pitches when I needed to.”
Rangers emergency starter Kyle Dowdy (ND, 1-0 ,4.73 ERA)  lasted just three innings in his first career start, following a few multi-inning appearances this season. He allowed three runs, four hits and three walks and struck out two. Marcus Semien crushed a three-run homer (4) down the left field line in the second inning after Texas had put up a run in the top of the frame. Melvin has taken notice of his shortstop elevating his game once again:
“He’s playing his best baseball now. And he continues to do that. Last year, to that point, that was his best baseball. This year, he’s added to that. He’s a smart player, he understands what he needs to work on. Nobody’s gonna outwork him. If you’re looking at work ethic to make yourself better, that’s the guy you should look at.”
The lead didn’t last long, as Brooks gave up a home run to right fielder Nomar Mazara (3), and another to shortstop Logan Forsythe (2), in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Matt Chapman answered in the fifth inning, leading off with a solo shot (8) of his own. Jurickson Profar then drove in Stephen Piscotty with a RBI single, giving Oakland a two-run lead once again at 5-3. Brooks was in line for the win before Yusmeiro Petit served up Mazara’s second solo home run (4) on the day, followed by Joakim Soria tossing a wild pitch that allowed catcher Jeff Mathis to score the tying run. After a surprisingly quiet eighth inning, Piscotty was in the middle of the action again in the bottom of the ninth. Piscotty, who has made a huge impact of late with his bat, changed this game with his legs. Stealing second base (1) after reaching on a one-out single, his second hit of the game, PIscotty set Pinder up to finish the job for his first career walkoff hit. Pinder said he wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel in that last at-bat.
“I was trying to stay short and put a good swing on a pitch that I could handle. My previous two at-bats I kind of expanded and put myself in a hole.”
He seemed more excited about the team win than his individual accomplishment.
“It was awesome. That was a big one for us. A three-game sweep, especially after taking three losses from the Blue Jays. We have a nice off day tomorrow, then hopefully carry that momentum to the road series.”

Up Next

The A’s get an off-day on Thursday before starting a road trip in Toronto on Friday, where Mike Fiers (2-2, 8.28 ERA) will battle Marcus Stroman (1-3, 1.76 ERA).

Notes

Marcus Semien recorded his ninth multi-hit game of 2019, going 2-for-5 with one run and three RBIs. … With two more home runs Wednesday, the A’s have tied the Yankees for fourth-most long balls in the majors (41). … Aaron Brooks’ seven strikeouts were a season high, and tied for his career high. … The A’s won their first game this season when being out-homered (1-7). … Matt Olson (fractured hamate) will travel with the team on the upcoming road trip, and is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment some time in the next week.
 Follow @SFBay and @gabe_agurcia on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.

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