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.”
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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, as evident by multiple strikeouts. He’s a tall guy with a good arm slot that when he releases the ball it’s a good angle. With the good depth of the slider, you saw our guys swing over the top of it.”
Ross allowed the two runs on one hit over his six innings. He walked four and struck out six in his first major league start since May 30.
“His ball-to-strike ratio was not great but he did use his breaking ball effectively,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He certainly kept the damage down. You could say he was effectively wild.”
Ohlendorf didn’t allow a hit in the first three innings. Smith’s seventh home run of the season cleared the center field wall with one out. Brandon Moss doubled and Cowgill singled later in the inning to put the A’s ahead 2-0.
Weeks made it 3-0 with an RBI double in the fifth.
“I thought I saw the ball creeping up in the zone a little bit in the latter part of his outing,” Black said. “They took advantage of some balls out over the plate but overall he hung in there. Maybe not as efficient as he would like.”
Quentin’s home run, his sixth of the season, brought the Padres within one in the sixth. Quentin was hit by a pitch for the 102nd time in his career in the second inning.
Venable’s two-run double against Doolitte in the seventh put San Diego ahead 4-3.
Cliff Pennington, who had reached base in his last seven at-bats before fouling out in the eighth, walked to open the seventh. One out later he went to second on Weeks’ single and to third on Josh Reddick’s fielder’s choice.
Luke Gregerson replaced Thacher one pitch into Gomes’ at-bat and immediately bounced a pitch that allowed Pennington to score the tying run. Gomes hit Gregerson’s 3-1 delivery into the left field bleachers.
NOTES: IF Eric Sogard was also recalled with Ross. The A’s optioned RHP Evan Scribner and IF Adam Rosales to Sacramento. … The A’s announced IF Kila Ka’aihue cleared waivers and was outrighted to Sacramento. … Ohlendorf is the 12th starting pitcher used by the Padres. … Padres’ RHP Micah Owings (strained right forearm) was scratched from his first rehab start Friday night. … The A’s send RHP Bartolo Colon (6-6, 4.21) to the mound in Sunday’s series finale. He’s 1-1 in two career starts against the Padres, though he hasn’t faced them in six years. … LHP Clayton Richards (3-7, 4.30) goes for the Padres on Sunday. He’s 2-2 over his last four starts following a five-game losing streak. … Pennington has drawn a walk in three consecutive games for the first time this season. … Padres’ OF Mark Kotsay extended his hitting streak against the A’s to 13 games.