Indians complete sweep of Angels behind Masterson
Anaheim, CA – After struggling in his previous three starts, Justin Masterson returned to his usual form Wednesday.
Masterson threw 6 2/3 innings and the Cleveland Indians swept a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-1 victory.
Masterson (14-9) fanned seven and allowed just one run -- which came on a Hank Conger RBI double in the sixth inning -- on five hits and five walks. His stellar start came after he surrendered 12 earned runs on 21 hits over his last three starts.
The 28-year-old right-hander also picked up his first win since August 1 against the White Sox.
"I had good movement in the game, I was able to get a lot of ground ball outs," said Masterson. "I was able to mix and match and our defense played great. We have something special going on here."
Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer and Mike Aviles went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Indians, who are 2 1/2 games behind Oakland for the second wild card spot in the American League.
LA starter Jerome Williams (5-10) gave up Swisher's homer and six hits overall along with two walks over 6 1/3 innings. He fell to 0-8 over his last 12 starts (13 appearances) and has not won since June 12 against Baltimore.
The Angels are on a four-game losing streak.
In the third, Michael Bourn hit a leadoff triple and Swisher followed with a home run over the right field wall.
The Angels got on the board in the sixth. Josh Hamilton singled to left to start the inning and scored on Conger's double to right.
Cleveland had a chance to extend its lead in the seventh. Williams gave up a leadoff single to Mike Aviles and walked Drew Stubbs with one out before being replaced by Buddy Boshers. He issued a two-out walk to Swisher, loading the bases, before retiring Jason Kipnis.
LA failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Austin Romine walked and reached third following a bunt single by Peter Bourjos and a sacrifice bunt from J.B. Shuck. However, Masterson struck out Erick Aybar and Rich Hill, who came in relief, got Hamilton to ground out to end the frame.
"Our lineup is thin right now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We just haven't gotten the hit that puts us in our favor."
Kole Calhoun knocked a two-out double to center in the eighth, but Chris Nelson struck out.
The Indians added one run in the ninth. Aviles singled to lead off and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Lonnie Chisenhall grounded out and Stubbs walked, Aviles scored on a wild pitch thrown by Dane De La Rosa.
Chris Perez gave up a one-out single to Bourjos in the ninth, but retired Shuck and Aybar to notch his 20th save.
In six career games (five starts) at Angel Stadium, Masterson is 3-0 and has a 2.14 ERA. He's 4-0 in 12 games (9 starts) lifetime against the Angels... Swisher is on a seven-game hitting streak. He has three home runs and six RBI during that streak ... Williams' losing streak is the longest by an Angel since Jim Abbott in 1996 (13 straight) ... The Indians were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position while the Angels finished 1-for-10 with RISP ... Angels outfielder Mike Trout missed his third straight game due to a tight right hamstring ... Both teams have an off day Thursday.