Cleveland at Oakland

W: C. Allen (1-0) L: J. Johnson (0-1) S: J. Axford (1)
HR: CLE - None   OAK - None

Indians score late, hand A's 10th straight Opening Day loss wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Terry Francona asked crew chief Mike Winters to review a collision at the plate, and the umpire obliged. The call was confirmed, denying Cleveland the go-ahead run, but the Indians' manager appreciated how smoothly the new replay process went.

The Indians later delivered on their chances in the ninth, with Nyjer Morgan hitting a go-ahead sacrifice fly against new Athletics closer Jim Johnson as Cleveland sent Oakland to its major league-record 10th consecutive opening loss with a 2-0 victory Monday night.

Nick Swisher added an RBI single against Johnson (0-1), who was then pulled from his A's debut to boos from the sellout crowd.

"I would have booed me, too. I [stunk] today, I'll admit it," Johnson said. "That's fine. I deserved it. I expect that. The next time they're probably going to be cheering."

In the sixth, Winters became the first umpire to initiate a review under the expanded replay system, making the call after a collision at home plate.

"Basically with the new rule I just wanted to confirm what I saw that the catcher did not block the plate unnecessarily," Winters said. "He was in fair territory, he gave the runner plenty of plate to go to. I just wanted to be sure."

The call was confirmed in 59 seconds and the game remained scoreless.

Winters wanted to see if A's catcher John Jaso had illegally blocked the plate under baseball's new rule regarding home plate collisions. With Michael Brantley on third and one out, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a comebacker that ricocheted off pitcher Sonny Gray's foot.

Gray quickly retrieved the ball and fired home to Jaso, who tagged a sliding Brantley. Francona came out to discuss the play.

"I just wanted to check and see if Jaso had blocked the plate. We've all discussed the new rulings and what you're allowed to do and what you aren't," Francona said. "I just asked him if he'd look because I thought maybe he had gotten there a little too early. ... I appreciated him checking."

Oakland's Josh Donaldson hit a single off the top of the wall near the 400-foot sign in center in the eighth, but Daric Barton held up at second waiting to tag in case the ball was caught, and the A's failed to score the go-ahead run.

"That was interesting," Francona said.

Cody Allen (1-0) then struck out Jed Lowrie and retired Brandon Moss on a grounder to first.

Justin Masterson, in his third consecutive Opening Day outing, and Gray dueled before the bullpens took over to decide it. Masterson allowed three hits, struck out four and walked one in seven scoreless innings, lowering his ERA on opening day to 0.86.

The game began only four minutes behind schedule under blue skies, a best-case scenario considering the downpour a couple of hours earlier.

Gray walked the first two batters of the game but quickly settled to throw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and three walks in a 105-pitch opener.

The right-hander, who dueled with Detroit ace Justin Verlander in Game 2 of last fall's division series, earned the start after Jarrod Parker was lost to season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Yan Gomes went 1 for 3 only hours after finalizing a new $23 million, six-year contract with the Indians. He was plunked in the left elbow in the ninth. John Axford finished for Cleveland, striking out Nick Punto to end it with runners on first and second.

A couple dozen grounds crew workers carried large brooms to sweep water off the tarp all afternoon. The Indians briefly came out to right field to go through some warmups during a break in the rain some three hours before first pitch.

The two-time reigning AL West champion A's took the field 90 minutes before first pitch under the lights when the rain finally slowed -- some even in short sleeves. It started pouring again shortly after the game ended.


Cleveland CF Michael Bourn, on the DL to start the year with a left hamstring strain, ran down a ball and hit a pair of doubles in a minor league game. He was set to go to Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, and Francona expected a meeting when the team returns home to face Minnesota on Thursday. ... Gray was Oakland's ninth different Opening Day starter in nine years. ... Masterson was the first Indians pitcher to start three consecutive openers since CC Sabathia from 2006-08. Ex-A's RHP Bartolo Colon did it for Cleveland in 2000-02. ... Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

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Justin Masterson pitches seven scoreless innings for Cleveland but doesn't figure in the decision. (USATSI)
Justin Masterson pitches seven scoreless innings for Cleveland but doesn't figure in the decision. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

J. Masterson
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 4

S. Gray
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 3
K 7

Related Video

Cleveland Indians
Nyjer Morgan, CF2001100 .000
Nick Swisher, 1B4011121 .250
Jason Kipnis, 2B5010035 .200
Carlos Santana, 3B4000104 .000
Michael Brantley, LF4020013 .500
Ryan Raburn, DH4010023 .250
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS3110100 .333
David Murphy, RF4110025 .250
Yan Gomes, C3010021 .333
Justin Masterson, P0000000 .000
   Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
   Cody Allen, P0000000 .000
   John Axford, P0000000 .000
2B - Michael Brantley 2 (2, Gray)
SF - Nyjer Morgan (1)
SH - Nyjer Morgan (1)
RBI - Nyjer Morgan (1), Nick Swisher (1)
Team LOB - 11
Cleveland Indians
Justin Masterson 7300140 0.00
Marc Rzepczynski 0.1100000 0.00
Cody Allen (W,1-0) 0.2100110 0.00
John Axford (S,1) 1000220 0.00
WP - Justin Masterson (1), Cody Allen (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Masterson 92-61, Marc Rzepczynski 3-2, Cody Allen 20-13, John Axford 26-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Masterson 9-8, Cody Allen 1-0
Batters Faced - Justin Masterson 25, Marc Rzepczynski 2, Cody Allen 4, John Axford 5
Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF2010100 .500
Josh Donaldson, 3B4020001 .500
Jed Lowrie, SS4000015 .000
Brandon Moss, DH4000005 .000
Yoenis Cespedes, LF4000010 .000
John Jaso, C3010120 .333
Josh Reddick, RF4000022 .000
Daric Barton, 1B3010100 .333
Eric Sogard, 2B1000100 .000
   a-Nick Punto, PH-2B2000013 .000
Sonny Gray, P0000000 .000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
   Sean Doolittle, P0000000 .000
   Jim Johnson, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Sogard in the 8th
2B - John Jaso (1, Masterson)
SH - Coco Crisp (1)
Team LOB - 9
Oakland Athletics
Sonny Gray 6500370 0.00
Luke Gregerson 1000020 0.00
Sean Doolittle 1100020 0.00
Jim Johnson (L,0-1) 0.1222100 54.00
Fernando Abad 0.2000010 0.00
HBP - Gomes (by Jim Johnson)
Pitches-Strikes - Sonny Gray 105-64, Luke Gregerson 9-9, Sean Doolittle 20-14, Jim Johnson 17-8, Fernando Abad 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sonny Gray 9-2, Fernando Abad 1-0
Batters Faced - Sonny Gray 26, Luke Gregerson 3, Sean Doolittle 4, Jim Johnson 5, Fernando Abad 2
Game Information
Attendance - 36067
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 49
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski