Justin Masterson goes for his first victory since April 26 this afternoon at 12:05 as the Indians will try to win this three-game series with the Minnesota Twins before a day off on Thursday and the beginning of a tough road trip on Friday in New York.
Masterson (5-4, 3.28 ERA) will be seeking to follow up on the brilliant start from Carlos Carrasco in the Tribe’s 1-0 win over the Twins on Tuesday night and to give Cleveland only its fifth win in the last 15 games. In his last outing Masterson gave up four runs on ten hits to the Rangers in 6.1 innings on Friday to lose his fourth straight since that victory over the Royals in April.
Masterson has not fared well against Minnesota. In eight appearances in his career, including five starts, Masterson is 0-4 with a 4.82 ERA vs. the Twins in 37.1 frames worked.
This will be Masterson’s first appearance against the Twins in 2011.
Minnesota will send ex-Indian Carl Pavano today to try to give the Twins six wins in seven games.
Pavano got the win over the Tribe in Minnesota’s 4-3 win in Minneapolis on April 24, going seven innings and allowing six hits and three runs. For his career against Cleveland, Pavano (3-5, 4.83 ERA) has made six starts and is 3-2 with a nice 2.95 ERA.
Pavano went the distance and got the win in his last start in Kansas City last Friday, surrendering just two runs and nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Cleveland’s lead over the Detroit Tigers remained at 1.5 games with their win last night after the Tigers belted the Texas Rangers for the second straight game. Thus it would be more than helpful to get this win and to have a smidgen of momentum going to face the Yankees for four, as after the trip to New York, the Tribe has three in Detroit, where the Tigers will not only be seeking revenge for their three-game sweep in Cleveland April 29-May 1, but also could very well be gunning to overtake the Indians at the top of the AL Central.
Cord Phelps will make his major league debut in today's game at second base and the Indians optioned Shelley Duncan to make room on the roster for Phelps.