Graduate students looking to do a case study of the relationship between fans and major-league players should have spent the past week at the Coliseum.

As Jim Johnson took the mound for the ninth inning of the A's 6-3 win over Seattle on Sunday, most of the 32,852 fans in attendance on Little League Day gave him plenty of encouragement.

They stayed behind him even after a walk and a single brought the tying run to the plate with one out. Johnson, who racked up 101 saves over the previous two seasons with Baltimore, recorded his first save with Oakland by getting called third strikes on Mike Zunino and Abraham Almonte for the game's final two outs.

The Oakland fans were, to put it mildly, less cordial during Johnson's first two outings. He took losses against Cleveland last Monday and Wednesday, the latter of which included a blown save.

The fans supported him pretty well during a scoreless inning in a non-save situation Saturday.

In the postgame clubhouse Sunday, Johnson smoothly addressed the reactions he has received from backers of the green and gold.

"I honestly felt that they've been very supportive," Johnson said. "You know, you get one here and there, but overall, I've been blown away with their reaction, their positivity throughout the week."

Brandon Moss didn't sense that much positivity in Johnson's losses against Cleveland.

"That was a shame the way they did him the first couple of nights," is how Moss put it.

Johnson has replaced Grant Balfour, now with Tampa Bay, in the closer's role.

"We understand that Balf was a fan favorite, but Jim Johnson is our closer," Moss said. "The guy gives up a couple of hits, and then this home crowd is out there booing him. I was pretty disappointed in our fans for that."

Moss jolted Erasmo Ramirez (1-1) for a three-run homer in the third inning to tie Sunday's game 3-3. Moss has thrived since joining Oakland in June 2012. He struggled for parts of three seasons (2008-10) with the Pirates.

"Nobody likes to be booed by their own fans," Moss said. "I would know that firsthand by being booed a lot in Pittsburgh. ...