Justin Masterson‘s undefeated stretch finally came to an end and Cleveland hitters wasted some good comeback opportunities Wednesday night as the Red Sox beat the Indians, 6-3, in the second game of a three-day series at Progressive Field.
It didn’t take long for Masterson’s former team to figure him out. Boston opened with five straight baserunners—Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off the game, Masterson hit Shane Victorino, and Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, and Daniel Nava followed with back-to-back-to-back base hits—and by the time Will Middlebrooks grounded out for the first out of the game Napoli and Nava had already driven in three runs. The Red Sox loaded the bases again in the second and fourth innings before Mike Carp‘s RBI triple in the fifth made it 4-0 Boston.
The Red Sox added another run in the sixth as Nava got an RBI single off of Corey Kluber; this finally woke the Indians’ bats up after they’d left the bases loaded in the fifth. Carlos Santana worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth and three pitches later Nick Swisher took Alfredo Aceves deep for a two-run home run. Jason Giambi followed with a big fly of his own. Mark Reynolds‘ double brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out, but though he ended up stranded at third base the Tribe’s mini-rally made it a 5-3 game.
Unfortunately, that was all Cleveland could muster offensively as Junichi Tawaza, Koji Uehara, and Andrew Bailey combined to throw four perfect innings in relief. Meanwhile, Boston added an insurance run in the eighth as Joe Smith‘s throwing error turned Victorino’s sacrifice bunt attempt into a run-scoring play. The Indians had no response and the Red Sox sent them to a 6-3 final score.
The Good: Nick Swisher had quite a night, going 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI. Jason Giambi also hit a long ball, Lonnie Chisenhall went 2-for-2, and Drew Stubbs went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Meanwhile, even though he struggled Justin Masterson managed to strike out five batters in five innings. Maybe this new Masterson is here to stay?
The Bad: One bad outing is hardly cause for concern after the season he’s had so far, but Justin Masterson was off his game Wednesday. After surrendering just one run in 22 innings in his first three starts, Masterson got rocked for four earned runs in five innings versus Boston. Most jarring was that he gave up 11 hits.
Interesting Tidbit: This marked the first time Justin Masterson gave up more than 10 hits in one game since August 20, 2010.