Masteron gets third complete game shutout as Tribe sweeps Sox
Pitching gem caps off exciting weekend for Erie Warriors
CHICAGO-On a 68° Sunday in Chicago, the Tribe completed a feat that no Indians team had done since the 1948 championship team: a sweep of the White Sox in Chicago.
Justin Masterson was proficient in his start on the day throwing a complete game shutout against the AL Central’s cellar dwellers. Despite a strong outing from the Chicago’s ace, Chris Sale, who went 8 innings and struck out 10 Indians, Masterson outshined the lefty as he struck out 8, walked just 1 while proving that the double play ball is truly a pitcher’s best friend, inducing 4 in the game.
With a 4-0 lead in the 9th, Masterson started the inning off by striking out Jordan Danks and Tyler Flowers. Alejandro De Aza would single to the outfield, and Alexei Ramirez was then hit by a pitch up high. Unlike Baez, who blew a four run lead in the 9th inning 11 years ago, Masterson was able to strike out the side as Alex Rios was caught glancing at a fastball at the bottom of the zone to end the game, conclude the series and propel the Tribe into a first place tie with the Detroit Tigers.
Despite an offensive oriented weekend, runs were much tougher to come by today against Sale. Sale sat the first nine Tribesmen he saw, five of them via strikeout. Then in the 4th inning, Ryan Raburn, who went 4-12 with 5 RBI in the series, started the scoring off of Sale with a drive to centerfield that would plate Drew Stubbs. Carlos Santana then punched a ball to left for the game’s second run. Yan Gomes was roping balls all around the outfield, finishing the afternoon 3-4. Stubbs went 2-5 with an insurance RBI double in the 9th inning that missed home run territory by feet.
The Ohio transplants were loud and proud in Chicago, and by the 9th, it seemed like U.S. Cellular had transformed into Progressive Field as the predominantly Tribe crowd cheered on Masterson’s shutout. Sunday’s game would make Terry Mulholland grin. He was the starting pitcher of the fourth game in 2003 that Baez went on to blow despite a four run lead. Fortunately, Masterson was able to avoid any bullpen blunders and close out a long overdue sweep of the Sox in Chicago.
The road trip rolls on for the streaking Tribe as they face off against the 3rd place Kansas City Royals on Tuesday. Corey Kluber (6-5) opposes Luis Mendoza (2-4) on the mound as the Indians seek their fifth straight victory.