Cleveland at Chicago

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Cleveland (20-33) «00000424010151
Chi. White Sox (23-31)000100000160

Indians' Masterson escapes trouble to snap 11-decision losing skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Cleveland's manager and players knew, Indians fans knew, the media knew. Justin Masterson? He insists he wasn't aware of how bad his losing streak was.

"I honestly didn't know it was 11 games until you told me right now," he said after his skid ended with Friday night's 10-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

"I knew it was getting up there. I knew it had been a while. But overall, I didn't feel I pitched terribly, so I didn't think about how long it was. I kept thinking I was on the right track, and that helped me stay in a good place."

Masterson (1-5), acquired from Boston last July 31 in the Victor Martinez trade, said he had gained some confidence with his solid outing at Yankee Stadium his last time out. Still, he hadn't won in 17 starts since beating the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 20.

"We're a close-knit group, and as much as we try to not read the papers or the stat sheets, we're aware of everything. It's in our faces," said left fielder Shelley Duncan, who saved two runs with a fine catch in the second inning. "So everybody is happy to get that win for him."

Manager Manny Acta said Masterson got a "3,000-pound gorilla off his back."

The streak-buster wasn't pretty -- five hits, six walks and two hit batters in 5 2/3 innings -- but it finally gave the last-place Indians some good news.

They would have had a perfect game pitched against them Wednesday if not for an umpiring mistake. They were routed by Detroit the next day. And a few hours before Friday's game, All-Star centerfielder Grady Sizemore underwent season-ending knee surgery.

The trip to Chicago came along at just the right time. The Indians are 7-3 against the White Sox, 13-30 against everybody else.

In losing for the ninth time in its last 13 home games, Chicago fell to 23-31.

"Bad pitching, bad hitting, bad game," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "This has happened to us all year long. We have a great game [Thursday's 4-3 victory over Texas] ... and then 24 hours later, we're a very different ballclub."

In games after victories, the White Sox are 4-19.

John Danks (4-5) took a 1-0 lead into the sixth but couldn't get out of the inning. Shin-Soo Choo doubled, Austin Kearns walked and Russell Branyan singled before Jhonny Peralta -- who had four hits and four RBI -- doubled off the left-field wall to put Cleveland ahead.

After Branyan was thrown out at home on Travis Hafner's grounder, Duncan hit an RBI double and Luis Valbuena chased Danks with a run-scoring single to make it 4-1.

Danks, who allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, is 1-5 with a 5.05 ERA since going 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in April. He has a 3-6 career record against the Indians, including 0-4 at home.

"This is the most frustrated I've been in a long time," Danks said. "We have to do something different. It's getting kind of old. We feel we're way better than how we're playing."

The only run off Masterson came on Alexei Ramirez's homer, but the White Sox had multiple baserunners every inning against him.

In the sixth, Masterson walked Mark Kotsay on four pitches and hit Carlos Quentin with a 2-1 delivery, but A.J. Pierzynski grounded into a double play on the next pitch. After Ramirez walked, reliever Frank Herrmann made his major league debut and got Gordon Beckham to fly out.

Herrmann was called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Columbus, where he had a 0.31 ERA and finished with a scoreless streak of 27 1/3 innings.

The 26-year-old right-hander immediately helped the AL's most-generous bullpen (5.58 ERA entering Friday), retiring all four batters he faced. Jensen Lewis and Rafael Perez followed with a scoreless inning each.

Peralta made it 6-1 in the seventh with another two-run double. In the eighth, Kearns had a two-run homer and Trevor Crowe added a two-run triple.

Notes
  • To make room for Herrmann, the Indians designated RHP Jamey Wright for assignment. The 35-year-old righty was 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in 18 relief appearances.
  • White Sox 1B Paul Konerko got the night off. Going into Friday, he was tied for the AL lead with 16 HRs but he has a career .182 average against Masterson. Kotsay, his replacement, drew three walks.
  • The Indians' record for most losses in a row by a pitcher is 13, by Guy Morton in 1914.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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It had been a while, like since Aug. 20 2009 since Justin Masterson last won a game before tonight. (AP)
It had been a while, like since Aug. 20 2009 since Justin Masterson last won a game before tonight. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

J. Peralta
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 4
Cleveland

A. Kearns
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Cleveland Indians
Jason Donald, SS6000026 .250
Shin-Soo Choo, RF5210115 .276
Austin Kearns, CF-LF5332121 .292
Russell Branyan, 1B4220111 .245
Jhonny Peralta, 3B5244000 .251
Travis Hafner, DH5100014 .244
Shelley Duncan, LF3011111 .313
    Trevor Crowe, CF1012000 .247
Luis Valbuena, 2B5031003 .170
Lou Marson, C2000313 .200
Totals4110151079  
Batting
2B - Shin-Soo Choo (11, Danks), Russell Branyan (6, Linebrink), Jhonny Peralta 2 (16, Danks, Santos), Shelley Duncan (1, Danks)
3B - Trevor Crowe (1, Linebrink)
HR - Austin Kearns (4, Linebrink)
RBI - Austin Kearns 2 (24), Jhonny Peralta 4 (26), Shelley Duncan (5), Trevor Crowe 2 (11), Luis Valbuena (12)
2-OUT RBI - Trevor Crowe 2 (7)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Peralta-Valbuena-Branyan, Donald-Valbuena-Branyan, Donald-Valbuena-Branyan
E - Lou Marson (2, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Justin Masterson (W,1-5) 5.2511611 5.46
Frank Herrmann (H,1) 1.1000010 0.00
Jensen Lewis 1000000 3.77
Rafael Perez 1100000 6.23
HBP - Rios (by Justin Masterson), Quentin (by Justin Masterson)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Masterson 107-61, Frank Herrmann 20-11, Jensen Lewis 10-8, Rafael Perez 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Masterson 8-4, Frank Herrmann 1-2, Rafael Perez 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Masterson 26, Frank Herrmann 4, Jensen Lewis 3, Rafael Perez 3
Chicago White Sox
Juan Pierre, LF3010110 .249
Omar Vizquel, 3B4020012 .246
    Jayson Nix, 3B0000000 .152
Alex Rios, CF3000001 .312
Andruw Jones, DH3000101 .222
Mark Kotsay, 1B1000300 .195
Carlos Quentin, RF3000004 .206
A.J. Pierzynski, C4010001 .225
Alexei Ramirez, SS2111100 .251
    Brent Lillibridge, SS1000001 .000
Gordon Beckham, 2B4010003 .201
Totals2816162  
Batting
HR - Alexei Ramirez (5, Masterson)
RBI - Alexei Ramirez (22)
SB - Juan Pierre (22, 2nd base off Masterson/Marson), Gordon Beckham (4, 3rd base off Masterson/Marson)
CS - Juan Pierre (5, 2nd base by Masterson/Marson), Andruw Jones (2, 2nd base by Masterson/Marson)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Vizquel-Beckham-Kotsay
Chicago White Sox
John Danks (L,4-5) 5.1944250 3.60
Sergio Santos 0.2222210 1.80
Randy Williams 0.2000100 5.48
Scott Linebrink 1.1444111 5.56
J.J. Putz 1000120 2.89
IBB - Duncan by Randy Williams
WP - Sergio Santos (4), J.J. Putz (2)
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 113-69, Sergio Santos 29-14, Randy Williams 7-3, Scott Linebrink 30-18, J.J. Putz 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 7-3, Sergio Santos 1-0, Randy Williams 1-1
Batters Faced - John Danks 26, Sergio Santos 6, Randy Williams 3, Scott Linebrink 9, J.J. Putz 4
Game Information
Attendance - 20713
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Tom Hallion