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Indians Break Through In The Third, Take The Early Lead 4-0

At the rate this game was going, any chance of getting caught in the rain that is heading for Cleveland looked pretty much to be going by the wayside.

Until the Indians slowed the game down in a most-pleasant way in the bottom of the third.

Justin Masterson has waltzed through the Orioles’ lineup the first time through, allowing no base-runners and striking out one in an economical 31 pitches.

Masterson was being matched pitch-for-pitch in the first two innings by Baltimore’s rookie left-hander Zach Britton, but Matt LaPorta led off the bottom of the third with a triple and scored on a single from Lou Marson. Adam Everett followed with a base hit — terrific production from the bottom third of the lineup. Then Michael Brantley loaded the bases with a bunt single.

Asdrubal Cabrera plated two with a single, making it 3-0 Tribe and leaving runners at first and second, still with nobody out after the fifth hit of the inning. (Meanwhile the pitchers from Wednesday are heard in the bullpen saying “Hey, where was all this the other night?”)

Shin-Soo Choo singled next, the SIXTH straight hit off what must be becoming a shell-shocked Britton, loading the bases once again. But Britton struck out clean-up hitter Shelley Duncan for the first out. Travis Hafner followed with a fly ball deep enough to score Brantley and to get Asdrubal Cabrera to third, making it 4-0, but Cabrera was caught leaving second base too early on an appeal, and the inning — mercifully for the Orioles — was over.

Now to see Justin Masterson come out and slam the door on the Orioles in the fourth.

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