It has been 11,756 days since the last Cleveland Indians no-hitter. That number will continue to grow after today.
Justin Masterson pitched seven innings of one-hit baseball, held a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Indians offense emerged for seven runs as the Indians defeated the Twins 7-1.
The Indians bats got it started in the second with a Mike Aviles sacrifice fly off Twins starter Scott Diamond (5-9, 5.53 ERA). However, despite having the bases loaded, the Indians were only able to get one run in the second inning. As a team the Indians are batting .342 this season with the bases-loaded.
In the third inning, Jason Kipnis extended the Indians’ lead to 3-0 with his 15th home run of the season. The home run was sent to the opposite field, Kipnis’ second opposite field home run of the series. Terry Francona gave Kipnis’ talent praise before Saturday’s game.
“It’s kind of a gift,” Indians manager Terry Francona said before the game. “I don’t know that you can necessarily learn that.”
Even Kipnis is noticing his opposite-field talent.
“I was joking around in the cage,” Kipnis said, “that I almost don’t even know what its like to pull the ball any more. I almost forgot what it feels like.”
Kipnis also had an RBI single in the 9th inning that went opposite field in front of left fielder Clete Thomas. Kipnis leads the team with .305 batting average and 62 RBI and is now tied for the team league with 15 home runs (Mark Reynolds).
Jason Kipnis was not the only Indian that was a main run-producer on Sunday. With the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning, Michael Brantley sent a Scott Diamond curveball to the right-center field gap to clear the bases and bring the game to 6-0. Brantley’s triple was his first of the season and accounted for his 49th, 50th, and 51st RBI, second on the team. Brantley is now batting .370 (27-73) with 42 RBI this season with RISP.
In addition, despite the positive offensive surge, nobody was better today than Justin Masterson was.
Masterson (11-7, 3.60 ERA), who was on 10 days rest, held a no-hitter into the seventh inning. It was broken up by a Brian Dozier double to center field that fell right below the glove of Drew Stubbs. Dozier had been 0-10 in the series before the double off Masterson.
Otherwise, Masterson was lights-out. He located his sinking fastball very well, keeping it between 90-96 mph and mixing speeds well. His slider was especially sharp, making even left-handed hitters look silly attempting to swing at it. Masterson finished with 7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 8 K. Masterson finished with 93 pitches and was most likely pulled after seven innings because the lead had already extended to five runs by that point.
The only run that Masterson allowed was via an RBI reach-on-error by Joe Mauer in the seventh, which was a grounder that Jason Kipnis could not handle. Mauer finished the series batting 3-10 with two walks and two RBI.
In other news, Asdrubal Cabrera was robbed in the fifth inning of an extra-base hit by leftfielder Clete Thomas. That was the third hit that Asdrubal Cabrera had been robbed of just in this series. Cabrera was 0-5 on Sunday.
CC Lee pitched .1 innings in the eighth and had control problems, leading to Cody Allen’s arrival in the eighth. Allen induced a double play, and Chris Perez pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Mark Reynolds continued his struggles, going 0-3 and leaving four runners on base. Michael Bourn got the day off.
The Indians will continue their road trip in Seattle tomorrow night at 10:05 pm EST. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4, 4.56 ERA) will face right-hander Aaron Harang (4-8, 5.38 ERA).
W – Justin Masterson (11-7)
L – Scott Diamond (5-9)
A – 31,753