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Tigers Pounce on Masterson, Beat Indians 5-3



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Saturday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians’ miserable season took center stage in front of a National TV audience on the Fox Network, and the Detroit Tigers took full advantage of the opportunity to make a name for themselves as they quickly handed the Indians a 5-3 loss, their 86 th of the season. The Tribe sent Justin Masterson to the mound, but he didn’t stay there long allowing 4 runs on 6 hits in just 4 2/3 innings of work and walked away with his 14 th loss of the season. When the Indians announced that Masterson would get the ball on Opening Day, they hardly expected that he would turn in an 11-14 season with an ERA of 4.93. The truth is, Masterson is not an ace pitcher, and after watching him turn in start after start of inconsistent pitching and giving his team more of an opportunity to lose than to win, it is unlikely that he will ever become an ace pitcher.

The Indians were silenced by Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez, who held the Tribe hitless for 6 2/3 innings. The only mistake Sanchez made was hitting right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo in the foot to lead off the fourth inning; it would be the Indians’ only base runner until the 7 th inning. The Indians finally got to Sanchez in the seventh when Carlos Santana launched a triple over the head of Austin Jackson in deep centerfield. That was followed by an RBI double from Russ Canzler that scored Santana, and then Lonnie Chisenhall brought Canzler home via an RBI single to bring the Tribe within three. In the eighth inning, Asdrubal Cabrera tacked on another run when he hit an RBI single which scored Cord Phelps from second, but they were not able to finish the rally. Jose Valverde was brought in to save his 31 st game, making quick work of Canzler, Chisenhall and pinch hitter Michael Brantley to secure the Tigers’ 77 th win and keeping them 1 game behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central race.

The Indians will try to turn things around on Sunday when Ubaldo Jimenez faces off against Rick Porcello. Jimenez had an awful outing against Texas on Tuesday which saw him allow five runs off four hits in just five innings of work. Jimenez has the worst record in the league right now at 9-16 and the Indians need him to show something over the next three weeks to prove that he can turn things around if they are going to think about keeping him around for next season. Jason Donald will likely remain out of the line-up on Sunday as he continues to recover from a bone bruise suffered on Friday when he was hit by a 95 mph fastball courtesy of Detroit ace Justin Verlander.



By Robert Gonzalez
Cleveland Indians Correspondent