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Greene wins debut as Yankees defeat Indians

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- The pitching matchup was a former All-Star vs. the greenest of rookies, and the rookie won.

Right-hander Shane Greene, in his first major league start, pitched six innings to get the win as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 Monday night at Progressive Field.

Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and Ichiro Suzuki each had three hits and the Yankees made the most of an early outburst against right-hander Justin Masterson, an American League All-Star last year who has been in a season-long slump this season.

The Yankees scored all their runs in the second and third innings against Masterson (4-6), and Greene and the Yankees bullpen made it stand up.

In six innings, Green gave up two runs on four hits, with two strikeouts and no walks.

"It's a dream come true. There's no question about that," said Greene.

"We've said all along this kid has a lot of talent," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He did a lot of good things."

The Indians bullpen was able to stop the bleeding after Masterson departed in the third inning, allowing the Cleveland offense to mount a comeback.

Trailing 5-1, the Indians got a run back in the sixth inning when left fielder Chris Dickerson singled and later scored on a single by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to make it 5-2.

The Indians cut it to 5-3 in the eighth inning when catcher Yan Gomes led off the inning with his 11th home run, over the wall in left field, off left-hander David Huff.

But right-hander Dellin Betances relieved Huff and got out of that inning then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his first major league save.

"It's pretty cool. I was just trying to go out there and keep it the same and make pitches," said Betances.

Masterson has struggled to pitch deep into games this season, and he only lasted two innings in Monday's game as the Yankees scored five runs on six hits and three Masterson walks.

Masterson, the Indians' opening day starter, has pitched less than five innings in five of his last eight starts. In his last five starts, he is 0-2 with a 9.50 ERA, and opposing batters are hitting .408 against him.

"It's always frustrating when you're not doing well, but what's most frustrating is I feel like I'm letting the guys down," Masterson said. "The guys are fighting hard for me, but my last few starts I've put the bullpen in a bad situation."

Masterson's slump has gotten so extreme that it could force manager Terry Francona to consider making a change in the rotation.

"I'm not going to make a decision like that five minutes after the game," Francona said. "I want to talk to Masty first."

Yankees designated hitter McCann led off the second inning with a double and he scored on a double by second baseman Brian Roberts giving New York a 1-0 lead.

Right fielder Suzuki made it three singles in a row, slapping a single to left field; however, Suzuki was tagged out in a rundown between first and second after Roberts held third.

Masterson then walked third baseman Kelly Johnson, and hit catcher Francisco Cervelli, which loaded the bases with one out. A single by left fielder Brett Gardner scored Roberts, and shortstop Derek Jeter drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Johnson with the third run of the inning.

Masterson gave up a walk and a single to the first two batters of the third inning, and was removed from the game. In his two innings, Masterson threw 54 pitches, only 24 of them strikes.

Left-hander Kyle Crockett relieved Masterson and gave up an RBI single to Suzuki and a second run scored when Cervelli grounded into a force out, which extended the Yankees lead to 5-0.

"It was a tough night for him," Francona said of Masterson. "The first inning was Ok, but in the second he lost his command again, fell behind in the count and they hit some balls hard."

Indians hitters could do little with Greene, who was making his first major league start. Greene held the Indians hitless until designated hitter Nick Swisher hit a solo home run with two outs in the fifth inning to cut the New York lead to 5-1.

NOTES: In a trade with Pittsburgh, the Indians have acquired OF Chris Dickerson in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Dickerson was in uniform Monday night. To make room on the roster for Dickerson, C George Kottaras was designated for assignment. ... An MRI on Indians OF Michael Bourn's strained hamstring revealed more damage than expected and he is now expected to miss three-to-four weeks. ... Yankees OF Carlos Beltran was not in the starting lineup Monday. He tweaked his knee in his last at-bat in Sunday's game at Minnesota.

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