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

night.

”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

every time.”

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

impressive.”

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.