Tuesday, June 03, 2014
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Masterson, Indians End Red Sox's Winning Streak

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[June 03, 2014]  CLEVELAND -- Justin Masterson ended his victory drought and the Boston Red Sox's winning streak simultaneously.

The big right-hander pitched seven shutout innings, and the Cleveland offense squeezed out just enough runs to lead the Indians to a 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday night at Progressive Field.

In earning his first victory since May 8, Masterson (3-4) held the Red Sox to three hits while striking out a season-high 10 and walking four.

Cleveland extended its winning streak to four games while snapping Boston's seven-game winning streak.

In four starts since his last win, Masterson was 0-3 with an 8.84 ERA, but Monday night he was nearly unhittable.

"His ball moves so much, it's hard to square it up," Boston catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "That's why he walks so many hitters, because his ball moves so much. But when he's locating, he's as tough as they come."

Right-hander John Lackey (6-4) went the distance for Boston, giving up three runs on eight hits in eight innings. He struck out three and walked two.

"He gave us eight strong innings. He was very solid," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Indians manager Terry Francona added about Lackey, "He threw a great game. We scratched out a couple runs early and then hung on. He's the Lackey we all remember."

The Indians scored three runs in the first three innings, and Masterson and three Cleveland relievers made the early 3-0 lead stand up.

The Red Sox made it interesting in the eighth inning when third baseman Xander Bogaerts belted a two-run home run off right-hander Bryan Shaw. However, Shaw, left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and right-hander Cody Allen got the final outs to preserve the win.

Allen pitched the ninth and picked up his fourth save, retiring former Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore for the final out.

Masterson, who went 2-3 with a 5.63 ERA during six starts in May, was a little shaky early in Monday's game. He found his stride in the middle innings, at one point throwing 25 consecutive strikes.

"He went from being a little erratic early to the point where he couldn't throw a ball," Farrell said. "We missed a couple opportunities, but give him credit. He's a good pitcher."

In the fourth inning, Masterson struck out the side on nine pitches.

"In the moment, I didn't realize it. I just realized it was strike, strike, see you," Masterson said.

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"It took him 66 pitches to get the first seven outs, then he throws 25 strikes in a row," Francona said. "He's facing a bunch of left-handed hitters, but he changed speeds, stayed down and attacked the zone."

Masterson escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning by striking out left fielder Jonny Gomes after falling behind in the count 3-0.

"He made a huge pitch to Gomes when he had to," Francona said. "That allowed him to settle in."

The Indians then scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Center fielder Michael Bourn walked and stole second. Lackey struck out shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera but walked left fielder Michael Brantley. Second baseman Jason Kipnis grounded out for the second out, but first baseman Lonnie Chisenhall came through with a two-run single to left, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Cleveland made it 3-0 in the third inning, which began with a triple by Bourn to center field. Cabrera followed with an RBI single.

Masterson walked four batters in the first three innings, then found his rhythm.

"We were down 2-0, but at no time did we think we couldn't come back from that," Farrell said. "But from the fourth through the seventh innings (vs. Masterson), there was nothing to be had."

NOTES: The Red Sox recalled SS Stephen Drew from Triple-A Pawtucket, and he went 0-for-2 with a walk in his first major league start of the season. Boston optioned INF Garin Cecchini to Pawtucket. ... Boston also placed 1B/OF Mike Carp on the disabled list with a broken bone in his right foot and recalled OF Daniel Nava from Triple-A. ... The Indians recalled LHP Nick Hagadone from Triple-A Columbus and optioned RHP Mark Lowe to Columbus.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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