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Simply Masterful! Masterson Deals 2-Hitter As Indians Crush Red Sox 11-0

(Sports Network) - Justin Masterson got the better of his former team with a two-hit shutout, the first of his career, and the Indians pulled away late for an 11-0 shellacking of the Boston Red Sox.

Masterson (2-5) picked up his second straight win and second career complete game in convincing fashion, and did so opposing Boston for the first time since being shipped West as part of the blockbuster trade that landed the Sox catcher Victor Martinez last July.

The 25-year-old had gone without a win since August 20 of last season before snapping a personal run of 11 straight losses over a period of 17 starts in a 10-1 victory against the White Sox last Friday. He shined in Wednesday's matchup, throwing 75 of his 110 pitches for strikes, walking two and fanning six.

"I was just building off the last couple starts...the last two have been pretty good and it went in to tonight. We were getting that first strike in there, which makes guys swing at pitches they might not always swing at," Masterson said.

Trevor Crowe helped make it happen with two hits, three runs scored, a walk and stolen base out of the leadoff hole for Cleveland, which snapped a seven- game losing streak to the Red Sox and a three-game skid overall. Crowe also made a nice running grab deep in the left-center field gap to help preserve the shutout in the ninth.

The Indians went on to break open a 3-0 game with an eight-run eighth inning, highlighted by Travis Hafner's grand slam. Jhonny Peralta and Russell Branyan wound up with two RBI apiece.

Clay Buchholz (8-4) continued to pitch well over a stellar run for Boston despite having a five-start win streak ended Wednesday. He allowed just three hits, but also three runs while walking four and recording just one strikeout.

The rising Sox hurler had his streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings come to an end in the first on a sacrifice fly. A second run scored in the third on a double play and a wild pitch accounted for the third an inning later.

"He threw better than I did today, he was on," said Buchholz of his former teammate. "He has his stuff working. A guy like that is hard to hit when he's throwing 88-96 with movement."

Boston had prevailed in four of five and eight of its previous 10 games coming in.

Cleveland played small ball to build a 3-0 lead on Peralta's sac fly, Austin Kearns' double-play grounder with runners at the corners and a wild pitch by Buchholz.

Meanwhile, Masterson exerted his will on Boston over the first eight innings and let his teammates blow it wide open in the home half. The Tribe sent 14 batters to the plate during the onslaught and battered the likes of Boof Bonser and Joe Nelson for a combined eight runs.

Bonser started on the hill and loaded the bases with nobody out for Branyan, who stroked a run-scoring single and brought out Nelson. Peralta followed with another RBI hit and Hafner parked his fifth homer of the year out to right for a grand slam and a 9-0 lead.

Nelson proceeded to re-load the bases with nobody out before Crowe hit into a double play that scored a run. Branyan added an infield hit that plated the eighth run of the inning and capped the scoring overall.

Following the trade, Masterson had compiled an ugly 1-12 record in 21 games (20 starts) before winning his last two starts...Buchholz had yielded a mere four runs in 36 1/3 frames during his win streak and pitched to a 0.99 ERA over the period. He came into Wednesday's start tied with Tampa Bay's David Price atop the American League with eight wins and a 2.39 ERA. It was also Buchholz's first road loss of the season in six starts...The Indians have still dropped 17 of 21 regular-season games between the clubs since the start of the 2007 campaign. The Red Sox have amassed a 9-3 record at Progressive Field over that time frame, and had taken the first two tests of this four- game set which concludes Thursday. Boston's Jon Lester will oppose Mitch Talbotfor Cleveland...The Red Sox are 16-6 since May 17.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.