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Indians 1, Rangers 0

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND _ Justin Masterson out-pitched Yu Darvish as the Cleveland Indians beat the Texas Rangers 1-0 Saturday night.

The only run of the game came on a home run by Michael Bourn leading off the bottom of the first inning. It was a game that featured wall-to-wall great pitching as Masterson (12-7) and Darvish (9-5) pitched a combined 13 2/3 innings, allowing one run while striking out 19.

Masterson did a better job of controlling his pitch count, so he was able to pitch deeper into the game. Darvish held Cleveland to one run on three hits over six innings, but the combination of 11 strikeouts and four walks over that span pushed his pitch count to 123, which pushed him out of the game after six innings.

The only run Darvish allowed came from the first batter he faced. Bourn, leading off the bottom of the first inning, hit a 1-0 pitch from Darvish over the wall in right field for his fourth home run.

Darvish held Cleveland scoreless on two hits over the next five innings.

The closest Texas came to scoring on Masterson was in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs, but the big right-hander pitched out of that jam. Masterson was removed from the game after Nelson Cruz singled with two outs in the eighth inning on Masterson's 113th and final pitch of the game.

Masterson finished very strong. The last seven outs he got in the game came on four strikeouts, two ground balls back to the mound and one ground ball to the first baseman.

Joe Smith relieved Masterson and retired Adrian Beltre on a fly ball for the third out in the eighth inning. In 7 2/3 scoreless innings Masterson gave up five hits, with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Chris Perez pitched the ninth to pick up his 14th save.

After Bourn's homer, Darvish struck out seven of the next 10 batters he faced.

Darvish and Masterson entered the game ranked first and fourth, respectively, in the American League in strikeouts. Masterson struck out four in the first five innings, giving up four hits, all singles, and no runs. Masterson always induces a lot of ground-ball outs, and 13 of the first 15 outs by the Rangers were groundouts or strikeouts.

NOTES: Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers was available after being held out Friday because of cuts and bruises on his face sustained when he said he was sucker punched by several young males on Thursday night a few blocks from the Rangers' hotel in Cleveland. Scheppers said he was not robbed, and no police report was filed. ... Texas SS Elvis Andrus singled in the second inning to extend his hitting streak against Cleveland to all 36 games he has played in his career against the Indians. ... Ubaldo Jimenez, who will start for Cleveland on Sunday, is 7-5 and two wins shy of his total from 2012. ... Veteran Jason Giambi started his 36th game for the Indians, all of them as the designated hitter.
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