Indians Take Three Of Four From O's, 6-2
July 02, 2012 By Todd Shapiro
On a day when shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and closer Chris Perez were both selected as American League All-Stars for the second time the Indians celebrated by completing a successful weekend in Baltimore.
Justin Masterson pitched five no-hit innings on his way to a seven inning, two run (one earned) performance as Cleveland defeated the Orioles 6-2 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Shelley Duncan hit his sixth home run of the year and Aaron Cunningham went deep for the first time in a Tribe uniform off of Baltimore starter Brian Matusz (5-10), the third time over the four-game series that the Tribe defeated a left-handed Baltimore starter.
"You're never as good as some people think or as bad as some other people think you are," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We are better than that against left-handed pitching."
Prior to the Baltimore series, the Indians were just 5-16 this year against left-handed starters.
Duncan and Cunningham's solo home runs gave the Indians a 2-0 lead going into the fourth inning. In the fourth, Cleveland started off with three straight doubles from Jose Lopez, Duncan and Casey Kotchman to key a three run rally, extending the lead to 5-0.
Meanwhile Masterson retired the first 12 Baltimore hitters before Adam Jones reached base on a fielder error by shortstop Jason Donald to lead off the fifth. Jones eventually came around to score on the first Orioles hit, a single by Ryan Flaherty.
"It was a nice bounce back to finish a road trip that started in such an ugly way," said Acta, whose team went 4-6 on the 10-game road trip that also included stops in Houston and New York. "We again swung the bat well early in the game. We had some quality at-bats, and then Masterson was just very good. He was dominant the majority of the game."
Masterson improved his record to 5-7. Over his last six starts, the Indians ace has a 1.93 ERA.
The Tribe added an insurance run in the ninth when Jason Kipnis singled home Cabrera.
Cleveland (40-38) saw a familiar face in the opposing dugout Sunday as Jim Thome made his first start for the Orioles after being acquired a day earlier in trade with Philadelphia. Thome started at designated hitter going 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts.
Before Sunday's game Acta spoke to reporters about the selection of Cabrera and Perez to the All-Star Game, the game will be played on July 11 in Kansas City.
"That's a very good sign that they are establishing themselves as All-Stars," Acta said. "You can make the All-Star team one time and never go back again in your life. But going back to back, it's a good sign that it's probably not going to be the last time for either guy. I'm very happy for them."
The Indians return home to Progressive Field on Monday to open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angles.