Justin Masterson will be trying for the sixth time to win his sixth game of the season. Masterson (5-2, 2.50 ERA) has not won since April 26 against the Kansas City Royals, but the fault has been the offense’s more than anything else. In five starts since that win over the Royals, Masterson has gone 35.1 innings and has surrendered only 11 earned runs. Unfortunately, the Tribe has mustered only 13 runs in those five games, albeit having won two of them, in which Masterson received no decision.
Masterson had his worst outing of the season against Tampa Bay on May 12 in a 7-4 Rays win. In that game Masterson also had his shortest outing of the season, going 5.2 innings, and allowing eight hits and five runs, along with four walks and six Ks.
That game against the Rays continued a career-long string of difficulty against Tampa Bay. In ten appearances against Tampa Bay, including six starts, Masterson is 1-5 with a high 6.28 ERA in 38.2 frames.
The Rays will send Jeremy Hellickson against Cleveland today. It will be the first appearance for Hellickson against the Indians in this, his second season in the Major Leagues.
Hellickson (5-3, 3.14 ERA) is a sparkling 9-3 in his career, covering 13 starts and 19 total appearances.
In his last start, Hellickson lost to the Detroit Tigers, but permitted only two runs and four hits in 6.1 innings.That loss broke a personal four-game winning streak which had included a shutout against the Baltimore Orioles and five scoreless frames tossed in a win over the Minnesota Twins.
Hellickson will be making only his fourth appearance of the season at home, where he is 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA.
Hellickson allows roughly four walks per nine innings, so patience at the plate would be something the Tribe might aspire to this afternoon.
The Indians will head for Toronto after this game and will open a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Monday evening.