CLEVELAND (AP) — Vidal Nuno pitched five innings of three-hit ball to win his first major league start, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay had two RBIs apiece and the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 7-0 Monday for a doubleheader split.
Cleveland’s Justin Masterson pitched a four-hitter for his third career shutout as the Indians won the opener 1-0 and stopped the Yankees’ five-game winning streak.
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Pitching in just his second game for the Yankees, Nuno walked three walks and struck out three. The former Cleveland draft pick became the only left-hander other than CC Sabathia or Andy Pettitte to start for New York since 2008.
Rookie Adam Warren finished the five-hitter for his first big league save.
New York chased Trevor Bauer (1-2) during a six-run seventh and handed the Indians just their third loss in 16 games.
Consecutive postponements last month forced the teams back to Progressive Field for the rare, one-admission twinbill. The Yankees detoured into Cleveland on their way back from Kansas City, while the Indians returned home for one day from a trip to Detroit and Philadelphia.
Selected by the Indians in the 48th round of the 2009 amateur draft, Nuno gave the Yankees everything they could have hoped for in the second game.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he wanted to limit Nuno to 75 pitches, but the 25-year-old had surpassed that when he gave up consecutive two-out singles in the fifth. However, Nuno struck out Asdrubal Cabrera with runners at first and third to end the threat and preserve a 1-0 lead.
Nuno’s first career win was hardly guaranteed when he was replaced, but the Yankees broke it open in the sixth, highlighted by Overbay’s two-run double.
In the opener, Masterson (6-2) gave up four singles — only one reached the outfield — for his second shutout this season. The right-hander overpowered the AL East leaders for his third career shutout and second this year following a blanking of the Chicago White Sox on April 12.
Jason Kipnis homered in the first inning off David Phelps (1-2) for the Indians, who were outscored 25-7 by the Yankees in two losses last month.
Wells drove home New York’s first run in the second game with a fielder’s choice.
Jayson Nix singled with one out, and Robinson Cano followed with a grounder to first he beat out for a base hit. On the play, first baseman Carlos Santana overthrew Bauer covering first, allowing to Nix to take third. Bauer tripped and was briefly shaken up but stayed in the game.
Wells then drove Nix home with a grounder to short.
Bauer held the Yankees in check until the seventh, when the right-hander gave up doubles to rookie Corban Joseph — his first major league hit — and Austin Romine. After Bauer was pulled, New York kept adding on runs against Nick Hagadone and Matt Albers.
New York is 23-10 since opening the season 1-4.
In the opener, Masterson had little trouble with a New York lineup lacking injured stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira. He retired the side in order four times, struck out nine and was backed by solid and sometimes stellar defense.
New York’s best scoring threat in the opener came in the second when the Yankees loaded the bases on a pair of two-out infield singles sandwiched around a walk from Masterson. But he struck out No. 9 hitter Alberto Gonzalez and easily handled the Yanks’ makeshift lineup.
NOTES: All five of Kipnis’ homers have come in the first inning. … The Indians optioned struggling 3B Lonnie Chisenhall to Triple-A Columbus. Chisenhall, who was given the everyday starting job in training camp, was batting .213 with three homers and 11 RBIs. “This is not an indictment on him,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s going to figure it out and he’s going to be a force here. I just think it’s important for him now to take a deep breath and get some at-bats.”… Making his final visit to Cleveland, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was presented with a framed gold record album from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. … Yankees INF Kevin Youkilis (spine sprain) has resumed limited on-field work, playing catch and fielding grounders on the infield grass. … Rodriguez, coming back from hip surgery, continued hitting drills in an indoor cage and jogged as he started his second week of workouts at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla. Teixeira (right wrist) continued taking batting practice and running the bases. … Masterson is the first Indians pitcher to shut out the Yankees 1-0 since Luis Tiant on May 3, 1966.