Alternative power source: Chad Pinder emerges as unexpected threat for A’s

OAKLAND — The home run traveled to a section of the Coliseum that only four previous drives had ever reached, leaving Oakland Athletics’ color commentator Ray Fosse at a loss.

“Did that go over the suites?” Fosse wondered aloud on the NBC Sports Bay Area broadcast.

“Yes, it did,” his partner Glen Kuiper informed him.

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“Wow,” Fosse marveled, uttering his favored exclamation. “Wow.”

Before Pinder connected on his 483-foot blast on May 20 — the longest homer of the season, per ESPN’s home run tracker — the last member of the Green and Gold to visit the plaza reserve was Mark McGwire way back in 1996.

It was the high-water mark in an unexpectedly powerful introduction to 2017 for the unheralded Pinder who would likely still be stranded in Triple-A if Marcus Semien had never fractured a bone in his right wrist.

It was also far from an aberration for a player who continues to hit his way onto manager Bob Melvin’s lineup card after entering the season buried on the organizational depth chart.

Whenever Melvin is asked about Pinder — who’s up to five homers in 59 at bats — the manager insists that the club’s player development staff and scouting departments have been raving about his resounding bat for years.

Throughout Pinder’s time in the minor leagues, the 2012 compensation-round pick’s power mostly manifested itself in the form of doubles. He tagged 32 two-base hits in both 2014 and 2015. In his first…

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