The Cleveland Indians are slated to begin their home schedule at 3 p.m. Friday against the Minnesota Twins after taking two of three from the defending American League West Division champion Oakland A's with a bit of help from A's closer Jim Johnson.
The Tribe, which played the first-ever day-night double header in the history of the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday due to a Tuesday rain out had plenty of help in returning with a pair of wins from Johnson, who came to the A's from the Baltimore Orioles this winter.
Johnson, who was the losing pitcher in both Tribe wins, entered the season opener on Monday and quickly gave up a pair of runs in what was a scoreless battle. Johnson gave up a walk to Asdrubal Cabrera to lead off the ninth, allowed a single to David Murphy and loaded the bases when he hit Yan Gomes with a pitch. Nyjer Morgan then delivered a sacrifice fly before Nick Swisher gave the Indians an insurance run with an RBI single.
Justin Masterson went seven scoreless for the no decision while Cody Allen pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. John Axford, the new Indians closer, got the save despite allowing a pair walks in the ninth.
A day-night double header followed the Tuesday rain out with the Indians dropping the opener 6-1 and taking the nightcap 6-4.
The Indians were held off the board in the lid lifter through eight as former Tribe hurler Scott Kazmir was dazzling in grabbing the win, giving up just three hits in 7.1 innings with five strike outs.
Cory Kluber was drilled for five runs in 3.1 innings in taking the loss that saw the only Indian with two hits being Jason Kipnis.
The night cap was Oakland's to lose as the A's held a 4-3 lead entering the ninth but again Johnson gave up the big runs. Johnson gave up a pair of singles and a one out walk to load the bases for Michael Brantley, who delivered a 2-run single. David Murphy then hit a sacrifice fly for the 6-4 lead.
Axford then closed for his second save of the series.
The Indians are home for three with the Twins followed by a 3-game set with the San Diego Padres beginning Monday. The Tribe then hits the road for a 4-game series in Chicago against the White Sox April 10-13 and moves over to Detroit to play three against the Tigers April 15-17. The Indians return to Progressive Field April 18 with the Toronto Blue Jays providing the opposition in the first of three. Kansas City Royals then visit Progressive Field April 21-24 with the Thursday April 24 date a 12:05 p.m. start.