Cleveland fans expected that going into a nine game road trip, things would be hard.
After the Indians’ first night in the Bronx, their fears were confirmed.
Justin Masterson gave up a season-high seven runs on the way to a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees (32-25) on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
Cleveland (30-27) was yet again unable to muster much offense the first time through the lineup, going 2-7 without any runs through the second inning. In the third, Nick Swisher grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Michael Bourn and giving the Indians the first run of the ballgame.
In the bottom of the third, the Yankees blew the game open. Reid Brignac and Austin Romine led off with back to back singles. The Yankees then loaded the bases with a Brett Gardner walk. Masterson forced Robinson Cano into a fielder’s choice that forced out Brignac at home, but the inning was far from over.
On the first pitch he saw, Mark Teixeira hit a laser into the right-field stands for a 4-1 New York lead. The Yankees would put two more runners on, but Masterson worked out of the jam.
The Indians would strike back in the fifth inning on a Mike Aviles sacrifice fly that scored Drew Stubbs. Aviles would move over from second base and play shortstop for the rest of the game after Asdrubal Cabrera strained his right quad while running to first base in the fifth. Aviles will likely be the shortstop in place of Cabrera, especially if the latter goes on the DL.
Later in the inning, Carlos Santana tied the game on a ground rule double down the third base line that drove home Bourn and Swisher.
Masterson looked like he had regained his control in the middle innings until Gardner hit a two-run single with two outs in the sixth. He would finally be pulled after Travis Hafner took him yard with a solo shot to right field with one gone in the seventh.
The Indians’ ace finished the day having given up seven runs on nine hits in 6 ⅓ innings. The outing marks his worst stat line of the season, equaled only by his seven runs allowed to the Kansas City Royals on April 28. June was not kind to Masterson in 2012 either, as he finished with a 2-3 record despite a 2.06 ERA.
Cody Allen would enter the game and slam the door on the Yankees. Neither team would score again, as Joe Smith pitched a scoreless eighth for the Tribe and Mariano Rivera notched his 20th save of the season and 628th save of his career.
Bourn finished the day hitting 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Santana went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Teixeira would end the day going 1-for-3 with the grand slam, and Gardner contributed two RBI of his own.
The Indians have two more to go against New York, followed by three in Detroit against the Tigers, and another three-game set in Arlington against the Texas Rangers.
Tuesday’s contest will pit Scott Kazmir against New York’s David Phelps. Kazmir is 3-2 on the year with a 5.13 ERA, but has gone 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts. Phelps (3-3, 46.5 ERA) is coming off the worst start of his career, giving up five runs in just ⅓ inning before being pulled against the Mets.
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