Masterson helps Tribe avoid sweep in Minnesota
Brantley and Kipnis collect three RBI's each in 7-1 blowout of Twins
MINNEAPOLIS – The Cleveland Indians topped the Minnesota Twins with a 7-1 victory on Sunday, spotlighted by a seven-inning no-hit bid from starter Justin Masterson.
Masterson (10-7, 3.62) manned the mound in opposition of against Twins’ lefty Scott Diamond (5-8, 5.29). The right-hander was one of two All-Stars representing the Indians last week while Diamond’s previous outing was cut short due to rain.
Masterson mowed down the Twins’ lineup for seven innings as the Indians worked to craft him some run support. That support started in the second inning as first baseman Mark Reynolds drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice that allowed left fielder Michael Brantley to reach first. The Indians loaded the bases as right fielder Ryan Raburn singled to left and third baseman Mike Aviles hit a sacrifice fly to score Reynolds.
Two more touched the dish for the Indians in the following inning as shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera reached on a fielding error and scored on a home run by second baseman Jason Kipnis to give Cleveland the 3-0 lead.
The Indians loaded the bases in the fifth to blow the gates open with a boost from Brantley. Kipnis drew a one-out walk and designated hitter Nick Swisher and catcher Carlos Santana laced a pair of back-to-back singles. With two out, Brantley launched a triple to center to clear the bases and chase Diamond from the game.
Meanwhile, Masterson quietly crafted a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. Second baseman Brian Dozier led off the inning with a double that landed just in front of a sliding Drew Stubbs in centerfield for the Twins’ first hit of the afternoon. Dozier advanced to third on a groundout before a fielding error on behalf of Kipnis allowed Dozier to score and designated hitter Joe Mauer to reach base.
That was the end of the outing for Masterson as he completed the seventh before giving way to reliever C.C. Lee for the eighth. Lee struggled as he issued two walks and was replaced with Cody Allen, who instigated a double-play to end the inning and pervert further damage.
Kipnis picked up his third RBI of the afternoon in the ninth inning as Cleveland tacked one more on in the ninth. Aviles started the inning with a single to center before Kipnis hit a one-out single to left to score Aviles, advancing the Indians to the 7-1 lead.
That was all closer Chris Perez needed as he entered the game for some work in the ninth inning and retired the side, preserving Cleveland with the 7-1 win to avoid a three-game sweep.
Next, the Indians head to the west coast to visit the Seattle Mariners (45-52). The Indians will turn to Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4, 4.56) in the first game to face Mariners’ righty Aaron Harang (4-8, 5.38).
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.
I think you meant "prevent further damage" there Steph. It kind of makes sense the way you wrote it, though, and it's definitely more interesting.
I'd put Brantley in the 4 hole, too. Swisher has a shoulder problem he's been getting cortisone shots for and his power is pretty much gone. He's having trouble just getting on base at this point.