Chad Pinder hit the sixth pitch of the game for a home run and local product Paul Blackburn made his first start at Oracle Park a memorable one Wednesday night as the Oakland Athletics edged the host San Francisco Giants 1-0 in the finale of a two-game interleague series.
Reinstated from the COVID injured list before the game and immediately pencilled into the top of the Oakland lineup, Pinder hit a 2-2 pitch from Giants opener Sam Long for his third home run of the season.
Blackburn (3-0) and five relievers made the run stand up, with the 28-year-old right-hander leading the way with five innings of three-hit ball. He walked one and struck out four.
A native of the Oakland suburb of Antioch, Blackburn improved to 2-0 in his career against the A’s cross-bay rivals, having pitched an 8-5 win against the Giants at home in 2017.
Serving as an opener for the second time in three days, Long (0-1) took the loss after finishing the first inning without allowing another hit, run or walk. He struck out one.
Jakob Junis followed Long with five shutout innings, allowing four hits, to keep the Giants within one. But San Francisco couldn’t dent the Oakland bullpen, with Domingo Acevedo, Sam Moll, Zach Jackson, Kirby Snead and Dany Jimenez combining for four innings of no-hit ball.
Jimenez pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
The Giants’ best opportunity came in the third off Blackburn, when a walk, an error and an infield single by Joc Pederson loaded the bases with one out. But Brandon Belt grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Pinder, who hadn’t played since April 17, added a single to his homer for the A’s, who out-hit the Giants 7-3 en route to the two-game road split.
The Giants had won the series opener 8-2 on Tuesday night, extending their winning streak to five games.
Oakland also got extra-base hits from Cristian Pache, a triple in the seventh, and Billy McKinney, a double in the ninth, but both were stranded in scoring position.
Luis Gonzalez had the Giants’ only extra-base hit, a double in the fifth.
–Field Level Media