Gomes’ pinch-hit HR beats Padres
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Jonny Gomes’ knew he had been unproductive in a pinch hitting role. That didn’t stop him from working the count and getting a pitch he could hit.
Gomes, who was hitless in his 34 previous pinch hit appearances, hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning to help the Oakland Athletics beat the San Diego Padres 6-4 on Saturday.
“Can’t hit righties, can’t hit sliders, that’s something I’ve battled all my life,” Gomes said. “Pinch hitting? Throw that into the bag of things I can’t do. You can say I’m 0 for whatever bit I’m still in a big league uniform and battling every day.”
Seth Smith also homered for the A’s, who have won a season-high five straight. Jemile Weeks and Collin Cowgill also drove in runs.
“We’re starting to get a little character in here,” Gomes said. “It’s a nice situation.”
Carlos Quentin hit a home run for the Padres, who have lost two straight since sweeping the Seattle Mariners. Will Venable also drove in two runs.
Sean Doolittle (1-0) pitched the seventh and earned his first major league victory. The converted first baseman gave up two runs on two hits. He walked one and struck out two. Ryan Cook pitched the ninth for his third save in four chances.
“I never had any decisions in the minor leagues either,” Doolittle said. “It just seems like somebody different steps up every day. Sometimes it’s a pitcher and sometimes it’s a hitter.”
Joe Thacher (0-2) took the loss.
Padres starter Ross Ohlendorf lasted 4 2-3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out three.
A’s starter Tyson Ross, in his first big league start in nearly three weeks, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a two-run, two-out home run to Quentin.
“Early in the game he was throwing a lot of fastballs, a lot of sinkers,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Then as the game progressed he got underneath us a little bit with the slider.”