Masterson, Indians Get Red-emption, Sweep Cincy; Indians 8, Reds 1
By Ryan Hohman
Justin Masterson threw a three-hit complete game gem and Asbrubal Cabrera hit a three-run home run to help the Cleveland Indians sweep the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Wednesday evening at Progressive Field.
With the three game sweep, the Tribe splits the 2012 Battle of Ohio series after dropping the first three in Cincinnati just six days ago.
Masterson was in complete control from the opening pitch to the final out, baffling Cincy hitters with an array of pitches and a nasty slider to get his fourth win and lower his ERA to 3.98. The complete game was the fourth of his young career, and he finished it in fashion by fanning the side in the ninth.
On the offensive, Indians batters pecked away at Cincy starter Bronson Arroyo early, tallying five hits through the first three innings, including two lead-off doubles from Shin-Shoo Choo. But Cleveland wasn’t able to plate a run. That hit and no score pattern would change in the fourth when the Tribe exploded for five runs.
It all started with Casey Kotchman‘s one-out single to left field. Next up was Johnny Damon, who crushed a hanging fastball over the right field wall – his third dong of the season – to give the Tribe a 2-0 advantage.
Arroyo managed to retire the next batter, but things went downhill from there for the Kid Rock resembling righty. After giving up back-to-back walks to Choo and Lonnie Chisenhall, last night’s hero Asdrubal Cabrera tagged on three more runs with a mammoth blast over the left center wall – his eighth homer this season.
Reds skipper Dusty Baker had seen enough and made the call to the bullpen to end Arroyo’s evening. Arroyo’s final stat line – five runs on eight hits, two walks, two strikeouts over four innings – his shortest outing this season.
Fans were treated to two spectacular catches in the fifth inning. The first came courtesy of Shin-Soo Choo, who spun around on a dead run and tossed up his glove at the very last second to steal an extra base hit from Scott Rolen. The next highlight came from Reds center fielder Chris Heisey, who made a feet-first sliding grab on what most of the 20,000 in attendance figured to be a sure single off Casey Kotchman’s bat.
The Indians blew the game open in the seventh with a two-out base clearing double from Chisenhall. Carlos Santana reached on a one-out single and Kotchman made his way on thanks to a throwing error by Joey Votto. Damon followed with a walk, then came the boom. Just like that the Indians were up 8-0.
The Reds finally got on the board in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Willie Harris. The run was not charged to Masterson due to a no-out fielding error by Cabrera, but it did end Masterson’s scoreless inning streak at 18.
The Indians return to action this Friday, where they’ll open up a three game series with the NL Central Astros in Houston. Ubaldo Jimenez (6-5, 5.00) will take the ball for Cleveland against Lucas Harrell (6-5, 5.07).
- The Indians are 31-19 against right-handed starters this season.
- This is the Tribe’s final home game in the month of June. They will return to Cleveland July 2 to open a series with the Angels.
Photo credit: Jason Miller / Getty Images