Masterson named Opening Day starter

Cleveland Indians pitcher Justin Masterson throws to a Cincinnati Reds batter in the first inning of an exhibition baseball game in Goodyear, Ariz., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Paul Sancya/AP

Justin Masterson has been named the Indians Opening Day starter on March 31 at Oakland. Manager Terry Francona made the announcement after the Tribe’s 7-1 victory over Arizona in a Cactus League game.

Masterson had his third Spring start of the year on Tuesday and was very sharp with four innings of no-hit ball. He has not allowed a run in eight innings of work.

This will be Masterson’s third straight Opening Day start. He has won his two previous and has a 1.29 ERA. Last year in Toronto, Masterson faced 2012 NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and allowed only one run and three hits in six innings while striking out five and walking four.

In 2011 against the Blue Jays, Masterson struck out a season-high 10 in eight innings while allowing only two hits and a run. At the time, it was only the second double-digit strikeout game of his career.

Masterson is the first Indians pitcher to start three straight openers since C.C. Sabathia (2006-08).

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