Indians ride Masterson's four shutout innings to win
Giambi drives in two runs; Gomes collects two hits, scores twice
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians sinkerballer Justin Masterson set the tone on Wednesday, spinning four shutout innings to pave the way for a 4-0 Cactus League victory over the Dodgers at Goodyear Ballpark.
Masterson, who is scheduled to make his second straight Opening Day start for Cleveland this season, put his signature two-seam fastball on display. Los Angeles pounded the pitch into the ground en route to nine outs via ground balls, including three double plays.
That brought a smile to Masterson's face.
"We had a bunch of double plays," Masterson said. "The ball was on the ground. A couple base hits. I mixed in a few sliders today and was around the zone. It was more or less where we want to be this early in spring."
Masterson finished with three hits scattered and three strikeouts, giving the right-hander six strikeouts and no walks in 7 2/3 innings this spring. Cleveland's infield turned a double play in the first, second and fourth innings to help the starter escape some minor jams unscathed.
"I thought [Masterson] set the tone for a really good day," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I thought all around today was our best day. We were crisp, even from the cutoff relays to scoring. Masty came in and stayed down, threw strikes, got double plays. I felt like maybe we got our legs back."
Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu -- signed to a six-year contract worth $36 million over the offseason -- held the Indians to two runs on three hits in three-plus innings. Ryu piled up five strikeouts, including three consecutive called strikeouts to Ryan Rohlinger, Drew Stubbs and Jason Kipnis in a swift third inning.
"Everything kind of worked for me, including control, command of the pitches," Ryu said through an interpreter. I was able to execute pitches. Not only the fastball, but other pitches as well."
Cleveland broke through for two runs in the fourth inning, when Mark Reynolds led off with a double and Yan Gomes followed with a base hit. At that point, Los Angeles turned to reliever Matt Palmer, who allowed a run-scoring sacrifice fly to Jason Giambi and an RBI single to Matt Carson.
In the fifth inning, Palmer walked Kipnis and then made a pair of throwing errors on pickoff attempts, allowing pinch-runner Nate Spears to easily advance to third base. Gomes then came through with an RBI single and Giambi contributed a run-scoring single of his own, helping the Indians to a 4-0 advantage.
Up next for the Indians: Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is scheduled to make his third appearance of the spring on Thursday, when the Indians host the Giants in a 3:05 p.m. ET Cactus League tilt at Goodyear Ballpark. Following Jimenez, who projects as Cleveland's No. 2 starter, will be bullpen candidates Matt Capps and Cody Allen. San Francisco will hand the ball to starter Tim Lincecum. An exclusive live webcast of the game will be available on Indians.com.