- Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Indians ace Justin Masterson had the Tampa Bay Rays hitters guessing all day as he pitched seven shutout inning with eight strikeouts. Although the Indians could have managed even if Masterson was so-so, the offense put on an all-out assault en route to an 13-0 victory.
Sunday afternoon makes two great starts in a row to begin 2013 for Masterson, looking to bounce back from a bad 2012 season. Today’s win also brought Masterson’s ERA to 0.69, and he’s allowed just five hits in 13 innings pitched. The only hitter for the Rays that was able to muster a hit off Masterson was Ben Zobrist, who had the only two Masterson gave up.
It was also a special win for Masterson as he has not beaten the Rays since his rookie year in 2008 with the Boston Red Sox. In fact, the last three seasons as a starter in with the Indians, he had lost three straight decisions. Before today, Masterson logged 25.2 innings pitched against the Rays and had a 7.14 ERA. This win must have felt good as he got a small monkey off his bat by not only striking out a career high against the Rays, but this is his first start where he did not surrender an earned run.
As mentioned, the Indians offense managed fine without the dominant start by Masterson. Mark Reynolds hammered two home runs as Cleveland finised with five for the game. Masterson’s battery mate Carlos Santana went five for five with three RBIs and a homer, as the two of them were without a doubt game co-MVPs.
The win brings Cleveland back to .500 heading into week two of the regular season.