Jun 13, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson (63) pitches during the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians Drop Series Opener 9-8 in Extra Innings Against Arizona Diamondbacks

The Tribe began their roadtrip with a tough defeat on Tuesday night, losing 9-8 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings during the first of a two-game series. Justin Masterson was not particularly sharp, lasting just four innings. He allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks, with six strikeouts. D-backs starter Wade Miley had similar struggles, giving up five runs of his own, although only four were earned. Along the way, he walked two and allowed eight hits, striking out just three batters. The game turned into a battle of the bullpens, which Arizona would eventually win on a walkoff hit in the 14th inning.

Key Innings

Top of the 2nd, Indians trail 1-0
After a messy first inning by Masterson, the Dbacks grabbed an early lead. The Tribe struck back in a hurry, adding four runs in the second. Carlos Santana led off the inning with a walk, before a pair of singles from Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes tied the game. Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a triple to center field, scoring two more runs. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Ryan Raburn made the score 4-1.

Bottom of the 6th, tied 5-5
Arizona clawed their way back into the game, scoring once in the second and twice in the fourth before tying it up in the fifth inning. After Kyle Crockett allowed a pair of leadoff singles in the sixth inning, he forced Miguel Montero to ground out. With runners at second and third, Vinnie Pestano came on and promptly allowed an RBI single on the first pitch to Aaron Hill to give up the lead.

Top of the 9th, Indians trail 6-5
Addison Reed has never fared well against the Tribe, and Tuesday night was no exception. He walked Asdrubal Cabrera to lead off the inning, then allowed Santana to walk as well. With two outs, Gomes singled to center field to score the tying run and take the game into extra innings.

Bottom of the 14th, tied 8-8
After a two-run blast by Santana in the top of the 11th, Arizona returned with two runs of their own to tie the game yet again. The deadlock remained until the 14th, when Mark Lowe gave up a walk-off single to Hill to end the game.

The Positives

It’s impossible to ignore Santana’s night, which included four hits and two walks, including a home run in the eleventh inning. The Tribe’s bullpen gave a solid effort as well, especially John Axford. Although he allowed one of Shaw’s runs to score to tie the game in the ninth, he escaped a bases-loaded jam with a pair of strikeouts to keep the D-backs from walking off in the 11th.

The Negatives

There were two key defensive miscues. With two on and no outs, Masterson got a double play ball in the first inning, but Santana took his foot off the bag and missed the out at first base. The close play resulted in a lost challenge that could have been used later in the game, when the umpire called Masterson out on what should have been an infield single in the second inning. Later in the game, Chisenhall and Cabrera botched a rundown between second and third.

Check It Out

Scott Atchison and Carlos Carrasco have the 12th and 13th best-ranked K/BB rate in the American League among qualified relievers, with 4.80 and 4.50, respectively. In contrast, John Axford has the 12th worst. (Oakland’s Sean Doolittle leads all of baseball, with an astonishingly high 50.00 K/BB rate.)

– The D-Backs’ pitching staff is 13th in the National League in WHIP, at 1.35. Their 4.45 ERA is ranked 14th.

Tags: Carlos Santana Cleveland Indians Justin Masterson

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