OAKLAND -- A's rookie Chad Pinder has really enjoyed facing Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels so far in his career.After hitting two doubles off him in their only other matchup last season, Pinder took Hamels deep twice as part of Oakland's 8-3 win over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon."He's staying in
OAKLAND -- A's rookie Chad Pinder has really enjoyed facing Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels so far in his career.
After hitting two doubles off him in their only other matchup last season, Pinder took Hamels deep twice as part of Oakland's 8-3 win over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
"He's staying in the big part of the park," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He had a couple of doubles off him going into the game, so you have some sort of confidence. But the guy's [9-2], and he's a tough customer.
"To be able to put two good swings on it and get us back into the game when we're down 2-0 was key not only for us, but certainly for him."
Pinder got right to work in the first, taking two pitches out of the zone from Hamels before crushing a fastball to center for a 421-foot homer, according to Statcast™.
Then in the third, Pinder fell behind 1-2 but fouled off two pitches to stay alive, then smoked a hanging changeup to left-center for his second homer of the day. It's just the third homer off Hamels' changeup all season long and the first since the All-Star break.
"He threw me a cutter in and threw me a backfoot curveball up that was a really, really good pitch to get me to two strikes," Pinder said. "Then he started throwing a couple changeups, and he left that last one up a little bit, and I was able to get extended on it."
Hamels added, "That second one was a big mistake. I thought I had him behind in the count and I wasn't able to put him away. He did what he had to do on a pitch floating down the middle."
Pinder drew a walk against Hamels in the fifth and finished the day 2-for-4. It's the second multi-homer game of the season for the rookie, previously doing so May 31 in Cleveland. It gives him 12 on the season with the A's.
Perhaps most incredibly, Pinder has now reached base all five times he's been to the plate against Hamels, previously hitting two doubles against him on Sept. 23, 2016, in Arlington. No other hitter has been to the plate more than three times against the left-hander and reached every time. Pinder hopes that there are more potential at-bats to come against Hamels.
"I've had some success against him and been able to hit some of the mistakes he's thrown me. He's obviously an unbelievable pitcher," Pinder said. "Hopefully I get to face him for a long time to come because that means I'm here and playing in the big leagues."
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.