Phil Marchildon outlasted Joe Dobson and Earl Johnson as the A’s won the season opener 5-4 in 11 innings, the first game of a doubleheader.
The A’s 19-game winner in 1947, testing his ’48 fastball, must have thought he was on a driving range as Sockers, Stan Spence, Vern Stephens and Bobby Doerr swatted successively homers in the second inning for what appeared a sufficient 3 to 1 lead behind Joe Dobson’s fine mound efforts.
However, Marchildon calmly pocketed his fast ball, and using a good curve and plenty of heart would up top man before 22,409 early risers.
Marchildon gave seven blows, four after the third inning and walked five. He didn’t strike out a man, but left nine on the bases.
The A’s put a Sam Chapman single and Pete Suder double together in the fifth for a marker and bracketed their fourth, fifth and sixth two-baggers off the bats of Barney McCosky, rookie Don White and Hank Madjeski in the eighth to tie the contest.
Came the 11th! Buddy Rosar doubled off the left-field wall and a fast Suder single found Rosar holding third. Eddie Joost, who had fanned on four of his first five trips, then spanked a harsh grounder between short and third to score Rosar.
Earl Johnson was called in to relieve Dobson and walked Barney McCosky. Suder scored what proved the winning run on rookie Don White’s fly ball to Williams.
The Sox made a game dying gesture is their half of the 11th. Vern Stephens singled and after Doerr and Sam Mele each flied out, Jake Jones was inserted to bat for Birdie Tebbetts.
Jones just reached an outside Marchildon hook to send a drive toward left which McCosky misjudged, then dropped for an error, Stephens reaching third.
McCosky threw to third base, permitting Jones to reach second despite Joost’s call for the ball at the keystone, and this nearly proved fatal to the A’s.
Billy Hitchcock was inserted to run for Jones, and Wally Moses batted for Johnson. It appeared all over when Moses grounded to Suder, but the latter’s hurried throw was in the dirt at Fain’s feet. The A’s first-sacker juggled the ball and the runner was called safe by umpire Hubbard, Stephens scoring and Hitchcock heading for the dish at top speed. However, Fain, on the ball, whirled and sent a bullet-like throw to Buddy Rosar, who, although hit hard by Hitchcock, held the ball for the tag, the out and the win.
The Red Sox also lost the nightcap in the twinbill, 4-2 to the A’s.