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A's belt 3 long HRs in 5th, sink Red Sox

May 20, 2017

OAKLAND -- The A's powered their way to a third straight win over the Red Sox, launching a trio of moonshots against Boston's bullpen in a five-run fifth inning that carried them to a commanding 8-3 victory at the Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.Mark Canha, responsible for Friday night's walk-off blast,

OAKLAND -- The A's powered their way to a third straight win over the Red Sox, launching a trio of moonshots against Boston's bullpen in a five-run fifth inning that carried them to a commanding 8-3 victory at the Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
Mark Canha, responsible for Friday night's walk-off blast, ignited the power parade with a leadoff homer against right-hander Ben Taylor. The Statcast-estimated 453-foot blast, which tied the game, was the longest by an A's player this season -- until Chad Pinder sent a two-run shot 460 feet into the plaza reserve section off righty Noe Ramirez later in the inning. In between, Khris Davis belted his 13th homer of the season, a two-run, 429-foot shot off Taylor.
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"Day games, the ball carries a little more, but I don't know if any of them would have been affected," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "It seems like they got longer and longer. Canha crushed that ball. K.D., we've seen it, and the Pinder one, I don't even know how to explain that."
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The derby continued in the sixth, when Jed Lowrie joined the party with a 409-foot solo blast off Ramirez, as the A's cruised to a series-clinching win behind Sean Manaea. The lefty picked up the win after allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits -- including a Hanley Ramirez homer -- in five innings. Boston starter Thomas Pomeranz needed 97 pitches to get through four innings, allowing two runs (one earned).

"I felt like I was just missing a little bit," Pomeranz said. "Worked all week on switching up my mechanics a little bit and being a little shorter. Felt great out there, just a lot of foul balls. I don't feel like I really got hit hard."
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Second-inning shenanigans: With one out in the bottom of the second inning and runners stationed on first and second, Josh Phegley connected on a check-swing grounder that Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez threw wildly past first base. Both runners crossed home plate, but Pinder was ordered back to third base when the ball was deemed dead in the visitors' bullpen. Phegley was forced to return from third to second with a single and no RBI, bringing Melvin from the dugout. Melvin was ejected, but Pinder later scored on Rajai Davis' two-out bunt single down the third-base line to tie the game at 2. More >

Sigh of relief: Boston's bullpen blunders weren't contagious. The A's relief corps, led by three shutout innings from right-hander Frankie Montas, kept the Red Sox off the board following Manaea's departure, running their scoreless streak at home to 25 innings. Montas struck out five, stranding a pair of runners in the eighth to halt a potential Red Sox rally, and righty Joshua Smith pitched a scoreless ninth.

"He's gotten better and better each time out," Melvin said of Montas. "It seems like every inning he goes out there the confidence gets higher and higher. Better breaking ball again today. Anytime you have a good breaking ball and you throw 100 mph, it's going to be tough."
"We need to be a little bit more consistent from the mound, as a place to start. Again, created a number of opportunities offensively, but the big base hit with men in scoring position hasn't been there routinely. We feel like this is a better team than what we have shown. We've got to do a better job in every area." -- Red Sox manager John Farrell, on a third straight loss to the A's
Pinder became linked to elite company with his monster blast, joining Mark McGwire (1996), Larry Walker ('99), Jarrett Parker ('15) and Nelson Cruz (2016) as the only players to reach the plaza reserve seating in the outfield section that was built in 1995. Per the A's, who don't keep records of such things, it's technically an unofficial stat.

"It's one of those swings where you kind of just black out," Pinder said. "You see it and you hit it, and you don't know what happens after."
"That was amazing," Khris Davis said. "He's got a great swing. That was impressive."
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The A's challenged the call that Chris Young was safe at second base on a double that fell between second baseman Lowrie and right fielder Canha in shallow right field. The call stood, after replay officials determined Young beat shortstop Adam Rosales' tag, and Young came around to score on consecutive groundouts.

In the ninth, Andrew Benintendi hit a towering drive right down the right-field line that was ruled foul, but Farrell requested a review. The call stood after replay officials could not determine that the ball left the playing field in fair territory.

Red Sox: Riding a streak of five consecutive quality starts, southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez will take the mound for Sunday's 4:05 p.m. ET matchup against the A's. Rodriguez nearly threw a no-hitter in Oakland last September, but Marcus Semien broke it up with a two-out infield single in the eighth.
A's: Right-hander Andrew Triggs, ranked fourth in the American League with a 2.12 ERA, will be on the bump as the A's go for a four-game sweep in Sunday's 1:05 p.m. PT series finale at the Coliseum.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to based in the Bay Area. He covered the Red Sox on Saturday.