The Oakland Athletics (1-2) split Wednesday’s double-header against the Cleveland Indians (2-1), losing the season’s opening series. After losing 2-0 in their home opener and getting rained out Tuesday night, you can say that the Athletics had time to think things over before Wednesday’s double feature.
Oakland knocked off the Tribe 6-1 in game one as the Athletics got an outstanding performance out of first year Athletic Scott Kazmir. Kazmir went 7 1/3 innings only giving up three hits and striking out five.
Oakland was able to get their offense rolling early after being shut out on Monday night, knocking around Indians starter Corey Kluber and scoring in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 5-0 third inning lead.
Athletics third basemen Alberto Callaspo lead the way with two hits including a big two-run home run in the third inning. Center fielder Coco Crisp had a hit and an RBI and catcher Derek Norris had a three hit game for the Athletics.
Jason Kipnis had two of the Indians five hits in game one. Cleveland has no answers for an ever so dominant Kazmir.
Game two was also going smoothly for the Athletics as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning behind starting pitcher Josh Lindblom, who made a spot start. Lindblom lasted 4 2/3 innings while giving up two runs on five hits.
The A’s were able to get another run off of Indians starter Zach McAllister in the fourth inning courtesy of a Sam Fuld single.
Cleveland rallied, but Oakland was sitting pretty with a 4-3 lead heading into the ninth, but new closer Jim Johnson, coming off of a blown hold on Monday night, blew the save in a terrible showing. Johnson only lasted 2/3 of an inning and gave up three hits and three runs, booming his early season ERA to whopping 45.00.
Johnson received a plethora of boos from around the Oakland Coliseum. He was already walking into a difficult situation trying to replace fan favorite and energizer Grant Balfour. Not a good start for what was supposed to be the anchor of the A’s bullpen. In a tight American League West, every single game counts.
Carlos Santana had two hits and a scored a run and Michael Brantley had one hit and three RBI’s for Cleveland. Brantley knocked in the game tying and go ahead runs in the ninth with a clutch single to right field.
Sam Fuld and Brandon Moss had two hits and an RBI each for Oakland. Yoenis Cespedes also had a hit and knocked in a run.
The Athletics are set to host the new and improved 3-0 Seattle Mariners on Thursday night. Coming off of a sweep of the Angels, the Mariners appear to be firing on all cylinders. Oakland better be careful not to dig themselves into an early season hole, especially against a division foe.
Jesse Chavez will take the hill for Oakland on Thursday. Chavez went 2-4 with a 3.92 in 57.1 innings out of bullpen last season. With A.J. Griffin sidelined, Chavez will have to step up to a starting role.
The 25 year old Roenis Elias will take the hill for Seattle and make his first career major league appearance. The A’s will look to get on the board early and rattle the youngster. Robinson Cano will be making his first trip to Oakland as a Mariner and is sure to get a rise out of the crowd to say the least.
Commentary by Rich Peters
Guardian Liberty Voice Writer for the Oakland Athletics