OAKLAND – Chad Pinder hit his second grand slam this month and that was enough for the A’s to beat the Houston Astros 4-3. Oakland recorded their second consecutive win. The A’s have won five of their last six games and are 5-2 since the All-Star break. But tonight was all about Chad Pinder.
Luis Garcia went two innings without allowing a hit until bottom of the third. Garcia gave up a single to Jonah Bride then back-to-back walks to both Ramon Laureano and Sean Murphy to load the bases. Pinder then went deep up the left field bleachers for a grand slam and gave the A’s a 4-0 lead.
“Chad obviously has been a big part of this organization. He’s grown up here, I’ve grown up with him and to have him in the lineup to have some success, to be a big part of this ball club it’s great,” said skipper Mark Kotsay. “Tonight to see the reward of his grand slam and I was reminded it’s his second grand slam of the month, I think he’s got 4 grand slams so he’s got as many grand slams as I do homers in my career so, I think that’s pretty impressive.”
Pinder hit his fourth career grand slam and ninth home run of the season. He is batting .311 (14-for-45) with runners in scoring position. Pinder has 10 home runs and 30 RBIs in 66 career games against Houston. The home runs match his most against any team (Texas) and the RBI are second to his 31 against Texas.
Kyle Tucker hit a solo shot in the fourth to make it a 4-1 game. The Astros kept chipping away at the lead and got a pair of runs in the fifth to make it a one run game. Frankie Montas lost his command, he gave up two singles, a double, an intentional walk and threw a wild pitch. That gave Houston some confidence heading into the bottom of the frame down by one.
Montas finished the night allowing seven hits, three runs, one home run, three walks and struck out four over five innings. Montas may have pitched his last game as an Athletic. Trade rumors predict he’s gone but the right-handed pitcher stayed focused and pitched a good game.
“I felt pretty good, just felt like my legs were a bit tired,” Montas said. “Other than I felt good but made a couple of mistakes. They (team) were trying to get runs and that felt pretty good.
I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve been thinking about it. Even today I thought this might be my last time here. So, I say ‘I need to do my job and go out there and give my best’. I’m still here right now, so…’”
Pinder shares some good company by recording two grand slams in one month. The only other Athletic players to hit two grand slams in one month is Stephen Piscotty August 2020, Brandon Inge May 2012, Terry Steinback May 1995, Harold Baines June 1991 and Sal Bando August 1971.
Oakland got the insurance run they needed, bottom of the eighth the A’s scored a run and that was enough breathing room to start the ninth inning. Piscotty and Tony Kemp hit back-to-back doubles, Kemp scored in Piscotty to make it a 5-3 game. Lou Trivino retired the side with amazing defense from Oakland. Pinch-hitter Yuli Gurriel grounded to third baseman Chad Pinder who threw a gem to first base for the final out.
|A’s and Eat. Learn. Play. to Welcome 1,000 Local Kids to the Coliseum on Wednesday, July 27
|OAKLAND, Calif. — The A’s are teaming up with Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation to host more than 1,000 children from community organizations Town Camp, Oakland Lacrosse, Street Soccer USA, Oakland Genesis Soccer Club, Oakland Zoo, and Oakland Public Library at the Coliseum on Wednesday, July 27. The fun day of baseball and activities is designed to promote movement and exercise, literacy and fun, in addition to offering free giveaways and surprise-and-delight moments. Co-founded by Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Eat. Learn. Play. is committed to unlocking the amazing potential of every child by fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring students have access to a quality education, and providing safe places for all children to play and be active.
Prior to the start of the 12:37 p.m. matchup versus the Astros, campers will take the field with A’s players for the national anthem. Additionally, Stephen and Ayesha will both throw out a ceremonial first pitch. Throughout the day, campers will also have lunch at the ballpark, visit the A’s Stomping Ground, lead the Coliseum crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and enjoy postgame activities empowering the spirit of play.
“We are excited to partner with Eat. Learn. Play. for their first Day at the Ballpark event and to support the amazing work they do for Bay Area youth,” said Stephanie Gaywood, Senior Director of Community Engagement and Community Fund. “We will welcome more than 1,000 kids to the Coliseum to enjoy the game, interactive activities, and lots of PLAY fun.”
“Similar to our Eat. Learn. Play. launch three years ago, we couldn’t be more excited to spend the day with kids from the Oakland community at our very first Eat. Learn. Play. Day at the Ballpark event,” said Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Co-Founders of Eat. Learn. Play. “This fun celebration underscores our work to enhance and diversify program offerings during the summer so that more Oakland kids have safe places to (eat, learn, and) play throughout the summer. Alongside our partners, we are continuing to provide creative and impactful ways to engage kids in unique experiences that inspire them to play through more playspaces, summer camps, and organized sports opportunities. We’re grateful to the A’s organization for giving us this moment to spotlight the importance of physical activity and how crucial it is in supporting childhood development.”
“We’re thrilled to work alongside the Oakland A’s and celebrate PLAY during the summer by hosting over 1,000 children from various Oakland organizations for a day of baseball and exciting activities,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Eat. Learn. Play. “Our foundation has begun setting the stage with major investments in our PLAY pillar in 2022 and beyond, and through close collaboration with community partners such as these, we know we can achieve the impossible.”
To learn more about Eat. Learn. Play., visit eatlearnplay.org. Tickets for A’s home games are available at athletics.com/tickets.
Photos by Eric Taylor