(Friday, June 15th)
Final Score: Cleveland 2, Pittsburgh 0
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Justin Masterson tossed seven shutout innings and Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley each drove in a run, as the Indians topped the Pirates, 2-0, in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
Masterson (3-6) one-upped James McDonald by allowing just four hits and three walks while striking out nine for Cleveland, which had just been swept by intra-state rival Cincinnati.
Brantley, hitless in his first three at-bats, stroked an RBI single with two outs in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 22 games.
The Pirates were also just swept by the Orioles and have dropped four straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
McDonald (5-3) had not lost since May 11, but was on the opposite end of the decision Friday, despite giving up just one run on three hits and two walks over six frames.
"I'm going to build off those last two, two and a half innings or so. I finished the game pretty good," McDonald said.
Neil Walker had two of Pittsburgh's five hits, including a leadoff ground-rule double in the sixth. A groundout moved Walker to third before Garrett Jones hit a fly ball to short right field. Jason Kipnis made a terrific over-the- shoulder grab from his second base position, then fired home to keep Walker at third.
"That was a tremendous play. [Kipnis] showed his athleticism and showed he used to be an outfielder," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "That was the play of the game."
Casey McGehee grounded out to end the frame.
Masterson ran into trouble again in the seventh with a walk, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch that put runners on second and third with two outs. On his 109th and final pitch, Masterson got Alex Presley on a routine flyout to left to keep the Indians in front, 1-0.
Presley saved a run in the bottom half by making a running catch in left field and throwing home to nab Johnny Damon trying to tag up.
Vinnie Pestano relieved Masterson in the eighth and set the Pirates down in order, and Brantley added an insurance run with a two-out, run-scoring base hit to center in the home half.
Chris Perez worked a scoreless ninth to notch his 21st save of the season.
Cleveland's first run came in the third when Santana slapped a double down the third-base line with two outs. Asdrubal Cabrera, who reached on a one-out walk, was running on the payoff pitch, and the good jump allowed him to score from first without a play at the plate.
Masterson, who snapped a personal three-start losing streak, has pitched at least six innings in 10 consecutive starts...Coming in, Masterson had received an average of 3.10 runs of support-per-9.0 innings this season, the lowest in the American League...McDonald was 3-0 in five starts since losing to the Nationals on May 17...The Pirates went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven, while Cleveland had one hit in seven chances with RISP.
06/16 01:17:39 ET