Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Indians first meeting with the Pirates in 2012 will go down as a battle of small ball, and with it the Tribe broke a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 win.
The Indians only run came across in the third, and did it with two outs. Asdrubal Cabrera walked with one out, and after Jason Kipnis flew out, Carlos Santana hit a double down the third base line.
The ball was almost like a knuckler down the line, and it rolled around enough to allow Cabrera to come all the way around from first to score the run to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead.
Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak, longest in the Majors, to 22 in the 8th inning when with two outs he singled to center.
The hit was not only a milestone for him, it also gave the Tribe a 2-0 lead, as it came against Juan Cruz with Shin-Soo Choo on second after a walk and steal.
Justin Masterson threw a fantastic game to get to 3-6 on the season. He was averaging just 4.2 strikeouts entering the game, but put up 9 K’s, including striking out the side in the 3rd.
He went 7 innings, allowing just four hits, walking three and striking out 9. He threw 109 pitches in the win, 70 of which were strikes.
Vinnie Pestano pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and Chris Perez threw the ninth to record his 21st save of the season, and continue his dominant stretch as he hasn’t blown a save since the season opener.
The win pushes the Indians to 33-30 on the season, and drops the Pirates to 32-31. The Tribe is now 4-6 against the National League this season, the Pirates are 4-6 vs the AL.
Saturday at 4:05pm the Indians and Pirates battle in game two of three game set, as A.J. Burnett (6-2, 3.61) will go for the Pirates against Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 4.91) for the Tribe.