Home News Guardians top A’s in possible final season opener at Oakland Coliseum

Guardians top A’s in possible final season opener at Oakland Coliseum


Guardians top A's in possible final season opener at Oakland Coliseum

OAKLAND – One of the smallest Opening Day crowds in the Oakland A’s 57-year history showed Thursday night for possibly their final season debut at the Coliseum — an 8-0 shutout loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

While some fans bunkered in the parking lot to protest the A’s planned relocation to Las Vegas, there wasn’t much for the home fans to cheer amid the announced crowd of 13,522.

That was officially the seventh-smallest attendance in the A’s Opening Day history, although that includes debuts limited by the COVID pandemic in 2020 (no fans) and 2021 (10,436). Ironically, the A’s record for lowest attendance of a season opener came in 1996 when 7,294 showed in Las Vegas, where that series against Toronto got moved because of the Coliseum’s “Mt. Davis” construction for the Raiders.

Seven of the A’s first nine batters struck out, and Guardians’ starter Shane Bieber totaled 11 strikeouts while shutting out the A’s on four hits through six innings.

That’s as far as Bieber went, allowing for some hope during the seventh-inning stretch, at which point the crowd also came alive trying to catch baseballs being thrown down to them by the A’s new television-broadcast crew of Dallas Braden and Jenny Cavnar.

A’s starter Alex Wood, formerly of the cross-bay Giants, threw a 1-2-3 first inning. A five-run rally in the fourth inning ended his debut, however, and the crowd was large enough to serenade Wood with boos after a two-run double by No. 9 hitter Brayan Rocchio, for a 6-0 deficit.

It was the A’s first Opening Day shutout loss since 2014, when Cleveland won 2-0 here. And this one made for a victorious debut for Guardians’ manager Stephen Vogt, who ended his playing career here two years ago with a home run for the A’s in his final at-bat.

Chants of “Sell-The-Team” faintly followed in the fifth inning, just over an hour into the season. The occasional “Let’s-Go-A’s” chant proved just as futile. While some fans bunkered in the parking lot to boycott the A’s planned relocation, pockets of seats were filled around the Coliseum’s first and second decks.

The A’s anemic offense nearly broke through against Bieber in the middle innings, only to be denied. In the fifth, Lawrence Butler got tagged out at third when he slid past the bag on Nick Allen’s two-out single. In the sixth, JJ Bleday reached on a two-out double, then designated hitter Brent Rooker flew out short of the centerfield warning track.

Back-to-back, second-inning doubles by David Fry and Tyler Freeman put the A’s in a 1-0 hole. The A’s sought to answer as J.D. Davis reached on a one-out, opposite-field single in the ex-Giants’ cross-bay debut; Bieber struck out the next two batters he faced, giving him six Ks through two frames.

No home runs were hit, but a ninth-inning, RBI triple by José Ramírez hit the right-field wall for a 7-0 deficit.

The night wasn’t without defensive highlights: Right fielder Seth Brown made a diving catch in the ninth for the Guardians’ final out; first baseman Ryan Noda made a sliding catch on Steven Kwan’s infield popup of Wood’s first pitch, and, second baseman Zack Gelof repeatedly flashed grace by cutting off a couple of grounders up the middle.

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