(Thursday, April 5th)
Final Score: Toronto 7, Cleveland 4 (16 innings)
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - J.P. Arencibia helped put an end to the longest Opening Day game in major league history Thursday by crushing a go- ahead three-run homer in the top of the 16th inning, leading the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-4 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
The 16-inning marathon eclipsed the previous mark of a 15-inning affair between the Indians and the Detroit Tigers on April 19, 1960.
Brett Lawrie started the rally with a leadoff walk and Omar Vizquel then tapped one back to the mound, where pitcher Jairo Asencio (0-1) went for the force out at second base but threw it wide, putting two runners on. Arencibia followed with a monster blast into the left field seats on a hanging slider.
"I know it's day one and we've seen an awful lot in the first game," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "But the one characteristic we had last year was a relentless attitude and we came back a number of times, and today was another example."
Luis Perez (1-0) worked four scoreless innings to earn the victory and new closer Sergio Santos got the final two outs in the bottom of the 16th for Toronto.
Jose Bautista finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double that tied the game in the ninth inning for the Blue Jays, who have won three of their last four Opening Day games.
Jack Hannahan cracked a three-run homer and Casey Kotchman collected the other RBI for the Indians, who lost their fourth straight game on Opening Day.
Cleveland wasted a fantastic outing from starter Justin Masterson, who went eight strong innings and gave up just one run on two hits while fanning 10.
The 10 strikeouts for Masterson were the most by an Indians starter on Opening Day since Sam McDowell whiffed 14 Baltimore Orioles in 1970, but the Tribe couldn't hold the lead in the ninth inning.
Trailing 4-1 after eight, the Blue Jays battled back with three runs off Indians closer Chris Perez, who allowed the first two runners in the frame to reach base on singles by Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson. Bautista brought the Jays within two on a sacrifice fly, and a double to left by Encarnacion later in the frame brought home Johnson and pinch-runner Rajai Davis.
Toronto had an excellent chance to take the lead in the top of the 12th after Escobar ripped a two-out double, Johnson walked and Bautista was intentionally walked to load the bases. But Davis flied out to left to end the frame.
Cleveland had an opportunity to end it in the home half of the 12th when Jason Kipnis walked, Hannahan singled and Michael Brantley walked to load the bases with one out, but Asdrubal Cabrera grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
In the top of the 15th, the first two hitters reached on a walk and a single for the Blue Jays. Davis then bunted fair up the third base line, but failed to run out the play, resulting in a double play for Cleveland. Encarnacion grounded out to end the frame.
"It's a long journey. It just started the wrong way," Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Earlier, the Indians plated all four of their runs in the second inning.
Carlos Santana started the rally with a leadoff walk and a double by Shelley Duncan put runners on second and third with one down. The Tribe collected their first run on an RBI groundout by Kotchman, and Hannahan followed two batters later with his three-run blast through the wind and over the right- center field wall.
The Blue Jays cut into the lead in the fourth after Bautista deposited an 0-1 pitch from Masterson into the left field stands for his first homer of the season, pulling Toronto within 4-1.
Toronto finished 81-81 last season, while the Indians were 80-82...The Blue Jays bested the Indians in last year's season series, 4-3...Hannahan now has three home runs in three career Opening Day starts...Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero yielded four runs on three hits in five innings...Toronto last played an extra-inning game on Opening Day in a 5-3 win over Detroit in 2007, while the last extra-inning Opening Day tilt for the Indians came in a 7-4 loss to the Twins in 2004...Game time: 5:14.
04/06 03:22:52 ET