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Justin Masterson Looks To Get Tribe Back In Winning Column Tonight

After a tough, tough loss to the Kansas City Royals last night in a game where the Indians fell behind 5-0, but which eventually ended with the Tribe down 5-4 and with the bases loaded in the ninth before Carlos Santana was called out on strikes, Cleveland will attempt to win their second in the first three games of a four-game series tonight at 8:10 Cleveland-time.

Needing a win to retain sole possession of first place in the Central Division, the Indians will send Justin Masterson (3-0, 1.33) to the mound.

Masterson has won each of his decisions this year, defeating — in order — Chicago, Seattle and Baltimore. In each of his starts, Masterson has given up just one run, and in 20 1/3 innings so far this season has surrendered 15 hits, walked only four and struck out 12.

In his last appearance — on Friday against the Orioles — Masterson went seven innings and surrendered only three hits in an 8-2 Tribe victory.

In ten career appearances against the Royals, Masterson is 1-2 with a 4.45 ERA in 30 1/3 innings of work.

The Royals will send Luke Hochevar (2-1, 4.21 ERA). Hochevar will be making his fifth start of the season, and is coming off of a brilliant performance against the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

In seven innings against the Mariners, Hochevar allowed only one hit, with two walks and four K’s, in a game that the Royals barely hung onto, winning 6-5. It was his second straight win, after having defeated Detroit on April 10. Hochevar has a no-decision against the White Sox, and lost his first game of the season on March 31 in the season opener against the Angels.

In his career, Hochevar — in eight starts against the Indians — is 3-5 with a 5.16 ERA. Hochevar has hurled 45 1/3 innings against the Tribe, allowing 48 hits, walking 16 and fanning 40, as well as surrendering eight long-balls.

The series will conclude tomorrow night with Josh Tomlin scheduled to get the start for Cleveland against Kansas City’s Sean O’Sullivan.

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