Boog Powell's first career Opening Day start turned out to be a special one.
With his family in the stands, the 25-year-old from Irvine went 2-for-5 with a double and a triple, scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
"(It means) everything," he said afterwards . " I mean, my grandparents, my parents were here. It was very emotional."
Powell wasn't even sure he would make the Opening Day roster, spending most of spring training in a fierce battle for the starting center fielder position.
"It's tough waiting for that decision," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "I told him (that) in the dugout during the game the other day. He was a little bit emotional. To be able to step up in your first Opening Day start is really rewarding with the hard work that you put in to try to make a team."
Powell certainly made the most of his opportunity. With one out in the bottom of the 11th, he lined Noe Ramirez's 0-2 offering deep to left field, just over the outstretched glove of Justin Upton.
"As soon as I hit it, and as soon as I saw it was down, (a triple) was my only thought."
Powell slid into third base safely for his first career triple. Two batters later, Marcus Semien drove him home to give the A's a 6-5 walk-off win.
"It was a great team effort. I mean, we battled back (from) 4-0. We ended up coming back, tying the game, going into extra innings, and might as well win it, right?"
Powell turned heads last season in his 29 games with the A's, slashing .321/.380/.494 with three home runs, 10 RBI, and 18 runs scored.
If he can stay anywhere near that type of production this year, he should have a permanent spot in the lineup. So far, so good.