(Sports Network) - Justin Masterson tries to get himself right on Wednesday
when the Cleveland Indians continue their four-game series against the Oakland
Athletics at Progressive Field.
Masterson opened the year by winning his first three starts and pitched to a
0.41 ERA in the process. However, he has lost two of three decisions since and
has allowed 12 runs in his last two starts.
The sinkerballing right-hander did not get a decision against the Minnesota
Twins on Friday, but surrendered five runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings of
the Tribe's 7-6 win. He is 4-2 on the year with a 3.64 ERA.
Masterson's struggles could continue on Wednesday, as he owns just a 1-5
lifetime mark versus the A's with an 8.10 ERA over 10 games (6 starts).
Oakland, meanwhile, will counter with righty A.J.Griffin, who put the brakes
on a personal two-game losing streak with a tremendous effort his last time
out. Griffin defeated the New York Yankees on Friday, limiting them to just
six hits over seven scoreless innings to run his record to 3-2 on the year,
while lowering his ERA to 3.79.
"A.J. pitched great," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "It doesn't really
matter what else goes on when you get seven shutout innings from your starter
in this ballpark, and you've got a fresh bullpen behind you. He was terrific."
After losing eight straight to the A's, Cleveland has won the first two games
of this series. On Tuesday, Zach McAllister pitched a gem to lead the Tribe to
a 1-0 win.
Carlos Santana led off the decisive fifth inning with a grounder to first
base, which was muffed by Brandon Moss. The ball then scooted toward second
base and was picked up by Eric Sogard, whose errant throw to the pitcher
covering first allowed Santana to advance to second. Mike Aviles then singled
Santana to third two batters later, and Yan Gomes plated Santana with a
sacrifice fly to deep center field for the game's only run.
McAllister (3-3) went 7 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while
striking out four. Chris Perez surrendered a one-out single to Yoenis Cespedes
in the ninth but got out of it unscathed for his fourth save of the season.
"I was able to get ahead of hitters," said McAllister. "When you do that
you're able to get into a pretty good rhythm."
A's starter Tommy Milone (3-4) was terrific as well. He was charged with just
one unearned run and five hits over seven innings of work despite the loss.
"It's disappointing when you can't get him a run or two," said manager Bob
Melvin about Milone. "It looked like he was on the corners most of the night."
The A's have lost four of six and have managed just 16 runs in that span.
Oakland was 8-2 last season versus the Indians.
The Sports Network