A's get first win on Toro's walk-off walk, beat Guardians 4-3 before just 4,118 fans

Oakland Athletics' Abraham Toro, second from left, celebrates with Shea Langeliers, from left, Lawrence Butler and Ryan Noda after walking with the bases loaded to score Darell Hernaiz for the winning run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, March 31, 2024. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Pinch-hitter Abraham Toro forced in the game-ending run when he drew a four-pitch bases-loaded walk from Eli Morgan, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-3 on Sunday for their first win this season.

The A’s, who have announced plans to move to Las Vegas in 2028, drew just 4,118 at the Coliseum on a sunny afternoon. Attendance for the opening four-game series totaled 26,902.

Oakland and manager Mark Kotsay lost three of four to the Guardians. The A’s went 60-102 in Kotsay’s first season in 2022, then 50-112 last year. They walked it off in the ninth after the Guardians had tied the game in the eighth with three runs.

“Nobody wants to start 0-4,” Kotsay said. “I was proud of the effort, proud of the fight back that we showed after that eighth inning.”

Carlos Carrasco returned to Cleveland’s rotation after three seasons with the New York Mets, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings. The 37-year-old right-hander was 88-73 for Cleveland from 2009-20.

Oakland’s Paul Blackburn allowed three hits in shutout innings and Cleveland tied the score on Josh Naylor’s RBI single that capped a three-run eighth. Two runs were unearned because of shortstop Nick Allen’s error at shortstop.

Cleveland’s Stephen Vogt, managing his first series, was proud of his team’s late-inning comeback.

“If we win three out of four all year long, we’re going to be pretty happy with where we are,” Vogt said. “No loss feels good, and this one certainly doesn’t. But really, really proud of the way the guys played this series.”

Blackburn, who threw 88 pitches, credited his success to breaking pitches.

“Especially against a team like that,” Blackburn said, “a team that doesn’t swing and miss much, a team that grinds out every at bat one through nine — just being able to keep them off balance the way that we did today shows the gameplan we had.”

Scott Barlow (0-1) walked Ryan Noda starting the ninth and Shea Langeliers reached on an infield hit when a video review overturned Marvin Hudson’s call, ruled Langeliers beat the throw from second baseman Andrés Giménez.

Lawrence Buter relieved, Toro pinch hit for Allen and Morgan relieved, throwing an inside slider and three high fastballs.

Dany Jiménez (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for his first major league win since Aug. 20, 2022.

JJ Bleday hit an RBI triple in the first and a run-scoring single in the third around Seth Brown’s RBI single in the second.

“We do need to add on to the lead to make it a little more comfortable, but a win is a win and we got it done today,” Kotsay said.


Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (1-2, 3.07 ERA in 2023) starts Monday at Seattle, which has RHP Emerson Hancock (0-0. 4.50 ERA in 2023) on the mound.

Athletics: RHP Joe Boyle (2-0, 1.69 ERA) starts Monday’s series opener at home against Boston, which starts RHP Tanner Houck (6-10, 5.01 ERA in 2023).


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