Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Brantley drove in three runs, including two in the ninth inning to help the Cleveland Indians rally to a 6-4 win over the Oakland Athletics to split a day/night double-header and take the rubber match of a three-game set.
The Indians trailed 4-3 heading into the ninth, but Jim Johnson (0-2) ran into trouble right away and never recovered. Ryan Raburn and Nick Swisher led off the frame with singles, and two batters later Carlos Santana walked to load the bases. Brantley delivered a two RBI single to right to give the Indians the lead, and David Murphy provided an insurance run with a sac fly later in the frame.
"Things seem bigger at the beginning of the year," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "It's a great way to go home. We have an off day tomorrow. We have our home opener. Going home with a win, I mean, that would have been a long day today to leave with nothing to show for it."
Johnson, who tied Craig Kimbrel for the major league leader with 50 saves last season, has been torched in both of his outings this season. The former Oriole has allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in just an inning of work.
"He's been around long enough. He's had some ups and downs. He knows how to get through these things," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said about Johnson. "It's unfortunate, because when you're with a new team, you want to get off to a good start."
Cody Allen (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and John Axford tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to save his second game of the young season.
Oakland won earlier today, 6-1, behind Scott Kazmir's 7 1/3 scoreless innings.
After Sam Fuld's lead-off triple in the bottom of the first set the tone for Oakland, Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes delivered RBI hits for an early 2-0 lead.
The Tribe got both runs back on Mike Aviles' two-run homer off Josh Lindblom in the fourth. The young A's righty went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just the two runs on five hits.
The A's went back in front a half inning later on Fuld's RBI single.
Both teams tacked on another run in the seventh. Cleveland briefly tied it at 3-3 when Jason Kipnis scored on a Brantley groundout, but Brandon Moss' sharp grounder with two outs in the bottom of the frame resulted in an RBI infield single.