CLEVELAND (AP) — Justin Masterson wound up with a win for all his recent hard work.
Masterson held the AL’s highest-scoring team in check, allowing four hits and striking out six over 7 1-3 sharp innings as the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 on Saturday night.
“It’s nice to go out and pitch well,” he said. “Anytime you’re not doing as well as you hoped, it’s hard not to press. But I’ve been really happy with my last four starts.”
Masterson (1-1) made his seventh start of the season. He won for the first time since last Aug. 21.
The sloppily played game featured two errors by each team, but Chicago rookie Jose Abreu’s snazzy glove toss was the defensive highlight.
Abreu, who leads the majors in homers and RBIs, struck out with two runners on base to end the eighth. Earlier, the Cuban first baseman made the play of the game.
Abreu fielded Lonnie Chisenhall’s grounder in the sixth and, unable to get the ball out of his mitt, flipped the glove about 10 feet to pitcher Scott Carroll covering the bag for the out.
Errors by third baseman Marcus Semien and catcher Tyler Flowers made both of Cleveland’s runs unearned, and the Indians’ pitching dominated.
Cody Allen struck out Abreu in the eighth. John Axford pitched the ninth for his ninth save, sending Chicago to its fourth straight loss.
The news wasn’t all good for the Indians. Center fielder Michael Bourn left in the fourth because of tightness in his left hamstring. He strained the same hamstring in spring training and began the season on the disabled list.
“It feels tight, but I got some treatment on it,” he said. “Other than that, it feels pretty good. I’m going to take it day by day and hope I won’t be missing too much time.”
Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi left the game in the sixth with a cramp in his right calf. The 43-year-old veteran thinks he might be able to pinch-hit Sunday.
Nick Swisher had a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the Indians, who have won two in a row after breaking a six-game losing streak.
Carroll (1-1) didn’t allow an earned run in six innings in his second major league start.
Semien’s dropped popup handed the Indians a run in the second. Semien drifted under a ball near the mound hit by David Murphy with two outs, but it fell out of his glove and Chisenhall scored from third. Chisenhall started the inning with a double.
Cleveland got another gift in the fifth. Flowers fielded Jose Ramirez’s bunt, but threw wildly to first. Ramirez was credited with a hit and took second on the error. Mike Aviles’ sacrifice moved Ramirez to third and Swisher’s fly ball made it 2-0.
Chisenhall’s throwing error led to a Chicago threat in the fifth. A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out, but Swisher made a diving grab of Semien’s line drive and doubled Flowers off first.
“If that ball goes through, two runs score and we’re down,” Swisher said. “It feels like things are getting positive in here and we’re trying to turn it around.”
“That kind of energized us and we made the two stand up,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Masterson also pitched around shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s fielding error in the third.
“It just happened to be Masterson was better, was better today than I was,” Carroll said.
Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez, the leading hitter in the AL, was hitless in four at-bats.
NOTES: The Indians placed C Yan Gomes on the paternity list. Wife Jenna gave birth to the couple’s first child Saturday morning. Carlos Santana started behind the plate for the sixth time this season. ... The White Sox put OF Adam Eaton on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. Jordan Danks started in center field while Alejandro De Aza batted in Eaton’s leadoff spot. ... Francona said RHP Josh Tomlin will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to start Tuesday’s game against Minnesota.