Pinder stays hot since return from disabled list

A's rookie notches two hits and crucial sac fly in win over Orioles

Pinder stays hot since return from disabled list

OAKLAND -- A's rookie Chad Pinder used the second life he got in the eighth inning to provide the game-winning sac fly Friday night against the Orioles at the Coliseum.

With runners on second and third and one out in a tie game, Pinder hit a foul popup that Orioles first baseman Chris Davis dropped to start his at-bat. Two pitches later, Pinder drove the ball to right field, getting it deep enough for Marcus Semien to beat Seth Smith's throw home and give the A's a 5-4 win.

"Honestly, the first pitch, I was looking for that breaking ball and I got it," Pinder said, "I was just a little tardy on it. When that [drop] happened, I was like, 'New life.' The approach stayed the same and I expanded.

"Those are situations where you really got to bear down, and I was able to get a pitch I could elevate out to the outfield. Thank goodness Marcus was running, because [Smith] had a pretty dang good arm, and he put that right on the money all the way to home. Luckily, we had Marcus over there, and he beat it home."

Pinder added two hits on the night for his fourth multi-hit game since coming off the disabled list on July 31. After missing more than a month with a left hamstring strain, he is hitting .400 (12-for-30) since his return while making multiple standout plays in the outfield.

"He can hit, [and he's] coming up in big situations for us, too," manager Bob Melvin said. "Playing the outfield, he seems really comfortable with that, too. Nothing but good things to say about Pind. He's going to get better and better."

Pinder, who is hitting .263 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs this season, credits his extended rehab assignment for allowing him to "knock the rust off." The A's also had the career infielder get some extended run in the outfield during his rehab, something that's helped him get in the lineup consistently.

"I'm thankful they had enough faith and trust in me to throw me back into the fire and give me a bunch of starts in a row," Pinder said. "I feel good right now."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.