The Oakland Athletics picked up where they left off in 2011 as they dropped a 3-1 decision in extra innings to the Seattle Mariners in the 2012 MLB season opener in Tokyo. Ichiro Suzuki and Dustin Ackley were the stars of the game for the Mariners as they knocked in all three runs and were a combined 6-for-10. Cliff Pennington was 2-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored as the A's dropped to 0-1 on the season.
As is expected of both teams, starting pitching was strong. A's starter Brandon McCarthy threw seven innings, giving up one run on six hits. Felix Hernandez threw eight innings, giving up one run on five hits. The game turned into a battle of bullpens with Andrew Carignan and Jerry Blevins struggling in the eleventh as they gave up a pair of runs.
The A's got a solid performance from Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes in his MLB debut. He 1-for-3 with a hit by pitch, and also provided an outfield assist when he threw out Ichiro Suzuki at second base. Cespedes hit a lead-off double off Felix Hernandez in the bottom of the seventh, but the A's were unable to bring him around. The next three A's hitters could not get the ball out of the infield as Brandon Allen popped out to third on a bunt attempt, Eric Sogard line out to the pitcher and Jemile Weeks grounded out to second. This sort of issue could be a running theme this season.
The A's and Mariners return to the Tokyo Dome bright and early Thursday morning (2:10am pacific time) for the second game of their two-game set. Bartolo Colon will face Jason Vargas.