Impressive Pinder records 1st multi-HR game

Making just his 18th start since his callup, youngster has five homers in his last eight hits

May 31st, 2017

CLEVELAND -- is giving the A's no choice but to keep him in the lineup.

The rookie homered in each of his first two at-bats on Wednesday evening, accounting for all of Oakland's runs in a 3-1 victory.

Pinder, who singled in his third at-bat for the first three-hit game of his young career, already has seven homers in just 26 games this season, and five among his last eight hits. Wednesday marked only his 18th start since his April 16 callup.

More playing time, A's manager Bob Melvin said, is in order for the youngster, who has seen time at five positions. On Thursday, he's penciled in at second base, with expected to get a day off.

"He's playing himself into a role where he's going to get a lot more at-bats," Melvin said. "That's what happens when you get here and you're productive and you continue to be."

Pinder, who drew a start at shortstop on Wednesday, greeted Indians starter Mike Clevinger with a solo shot to left-center field in the third inning for a 1-0 A's lead. After Cleveland responded with a solo homer from in the fourth, Pinder was at it again in the fifth, putting the A's back on top via a two-run dinger in the same direction and recording his first multi-homer game.

"He's unbelievable," starter said. "I played with him a little bit in Double-A, and none of this is a surprise to me. I've seen him a lot, and it's nice that he's starting to warm up and we get to see what he's capable of doing."

The 25-year-old made headlines earlier this month with a 460-foot mammoth blast in Oakland that reached the plaza reserve level seats above the suites in center field. Since Mount Davis was built in 1995, only five home runs are believed to have landed there.

His homers at Progressive Field on Wednesday traveled estimated distances of 421 feet and 448 feet, per Statcast™. He joins Miami's as the only players this season to hit two home runs in a single game with at least a 108-mph exit velocity and a projected distance of 420 feet.

"We're going to find some way to get him some more at-bats," Melvin said. "The power speaks for itself. We've seen it enough to know that it's not a fluke. He's hit some balls close to 500 feet, and those two balls are no-doubters here on nights where every ball to left field you weren't sure if it was going to go or not."

Added Pinder: "That gives me a lot of confidence. Obviously you want the confidence of your manager and the confidence of the guys out there fighting with you."

Pinder has six home runs in his last 35 at-bats, bringing his RBI total on the season to 14.

"Just trying to put good swings on pitches, and I've been able to do that," Pinder said.