CLEVELAND, Ohio — A historic day at Progressive Field. The Tribe and the Toronto Blue Jays played the longest Opening Day game in Major League Baseball history, but making history won’t make the final result go down any easier for Tribe fans.
The Jays climbed up off the canvas in the ninth, only to deliver the knockout punch in the 16th inning en route to the 7-4 win.
The Indians’ Justin Masterson was outstanding, tossing eight innings of sterling baseball, allowing only one run on two hits. He struck out eight batters.
When his day was done, the Tribe held a solid three-run lead, 4-1 in the ninth. But closer Chris Perez blew the save opportunity. Three Jays’ runs sent the game to extra innings.
The game was so long that there were essentially, two 7th inning stretches. Game time was five hours and 14 minutes, nearly long enough for two NFL football games.
In the top of the 16th inning, J.P. Arencibia ripped a three-run homer off Jairo Ascencio to send the visitors to the 7-4 victory.
Jack Hannahan, the Indians third baseman, homered on Opening Day for the second year in a row. His three-run shot in the second inning staked the Wahoos to a 4-0 lead. Jose Bautista homered against Masterson to keep Toronto within reach until they struck in the 9th to tie the game.
The Tribe is off until Saturday afternoon, when the Jays and Cleveland play game two of the weekend series.