OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — 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 straight 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.
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