Indians 7, Red Sox 3
Justin Masterson took some pressure off new teammate Ubaldo
Jimenez at Fenway Park on Thursday night.
With Jimenez set to make his Indians debut Friday night at
Texas, Masterson struck out nine in six innings against his old
team, leading the Indians to a 7-3 win over the Red Sox that
stopped Cleveland’s two-game losing streak
The win also kept the Indians from falling below .500 for the
first time since the third game of the season.
Another loss would have put more on Jimenez’s shoulders Friday
”I’m sure he has a lot of other things on his mind as he’s
going to go out there, being a part of a new team, but hopefully
that may ease a little bit for him,” Masterson said after helping
the Indians split the four-game series and win only their fourth in
15 games. ”I know he’s going to go out and pitch his game and I
think we’ll like what we’re going to see tomorrow.”
Jimenez, acquired in trade with the Rockies, has the ability to
be a stopper – but manager Manny Acta says the team now has two
starters who can be counted on.
”Right now, our main guy has been Justin Masterson,” the
manager said. ”He’s a guy who from now on, and for awhile now, we
have tried to keep him on the five days routine because he’s the
guy that we want to see out there every five days. It’s good that
Ubaldo doesn’t have to feel like he’s a guy who’s going to stop it
Carlos Santana, who struck out four times Wednesday night,
snapped a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the sixth inning and
drove in three runs with three hits, while Travis Hafner and Kosuke
Fukodome also collected three hits.
The loss dropped the Red Sox into a tie with the New York
Yankees for first place in the AL East. The Yankees, winners of
seven straight, come to Fenway for a three-game series starting
Friday night. Boston, 8-1 against New York this season, has been in
first place since July 7.
Masterson (9-7), traded by Boston to Cleveland in the Victor
Martinez deal in 2009, raised his Fenway record to 10-2. He is
15-33 everywhere else. He is also 3-0 against the Red Sox.
”He’s good … we see his best,” said Red Sox manager Terry
Francona. ”I am sure that he enjoys pitching against us. He’s
Masterson tied a major league record with four strikeouts in the
second inning, thanks to a wild pitch on a third strike. He is the
sixth Indians pitcher – the first since Chuck Finley in 2000 – to
fan four in an inning.
He gave up two first-inning runs and a solo homer to Josh
Reddick in the fourth. Three relievers finished up, with Chris
Perez working the ninth in a non-save situation.
Erik Bedard, making his Red Sox debut after being acquired from
Seattle, gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings. In his
second start since coming off the disabled list, he was on a pitch
count and came out after 70 with the score tied 3-all.
Hafner greeted reliever Franklin Morales (0-1) with a long
double and, on the next pitch, Santana, already 2 for 2 with an
RBI, hit his 16th homer to dead center field. It was only his
second home run of the season right-handed.
Hafner’s RBI double off Andrew Miller in the seventh and
Fukudome’s RBI double closed the scoring in the ninth.
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by
Adrian Gonzalez and run-scoring single by David Ortiz. Gonzalez
extended his season-best hitting streak to 14 games with his major
league-leading 91st RBI.
The Indians tied the game on Matt LaPorta’s infield hit (Bedard
failed to cover first) and an RBI grounder by Austin Kearns in the
second, and Santana’s RBI single made it 3-2 in the third. Reddick
tied the game again with his fifth homer of the year.
NOTES: The game drew 38,477 a post-World War II record at
Fenway. … Recently acquired Ubaldo Jimenez makes his Indians
debut when he faces 10-game winner Derek Holland, who shut the
Indians out June 4, in the opener of Clevelands three-game series
in Texas Friday night. … Jon Lester, 8-1 lifetime against the
Yankees and 2-0 this season, faces the Yankees Bartolo Colon, 0-2
against Boston this year, on Friday night. … Indians LF Michael
Brantley missed his second straight game with a sore right wrist.
He will take batting practice Friday. Meanwhile, RF Shin-Soo Choo,
on the disabled list with a broken left thumb, is hitting and
appears to be ahead of the projected return of the last week of
August or first week of September. … Indians OF Travis Buck
accepted his assignment to Triple-A Columbus. … Cleveland RHP
Carlos Carrasco, who started Wednesday night, dropped his appeal
and began serving a six-game suspension for throwing high to Kansas
Citys Billy Butler. … Indians 2B Jason Kipnis saw his home run
streak end at four straight games. He is the first player in major
league history to homer in four straight within two weeks of the
start of his career. Graig Nettles, then of the Twins, was the last
player to homer in four straight in the first 10 games of his
career, doing it in 1968. Kipnis is the first Indians 2B ever to
accomplish the feat. … Miller, in his first Red Sox relief
outing, threw 71 pitches in 2 2-3 innings.