2013 Spring Training Game #9: Indians 9, White Sox 7
GOODYEAR - Though the pitching wasn’t pretty, the Indians salvaged a 9-7 victory in the late innings on Friday against the White Sox.
Justin Masterson squared off against Chris Sale in a tale of two starts. Masterson was smacked around for four earned runs on six hits, two of which were home runs, while Sale sizzled threw 2.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts. The hits surrendered were all line drives off the bats as Masterson was leaving pitches right in the middle of the zone. After the poor outing it puts Masterson’s early spring training ERA at a plump 7.71, though we know the insignificance of spring stats (see Cliff Lee’s 2009 spring).
Cord Phelps went 1-for-3 and is hitting .357 this spring. The fact Aviles just signed a two-year contract leaves a gingerly feeling for Phelps who dazzled in the field Friday, providing a trifecta of fantastic diving plays, two of which led to put outs. After a Phelps single in the 4th inning, right fielder Matt Carson left the yard with a three-run bomb to centerfield that ricocheted off the top of the wall in center. It was Carson’s third homer of the spring and he put together a pair of pleasant at bats in the contest.
Michael Bourn had a rather lackluster afternoon going 0-for-3 and leaving after the 5th inning, which allowed Mike McCade to take his spot in the lineup and play first base. The massive McCade crushed a 410+ foot bomb to dead center field in his first at bat in the sixth inning driving in Phelps to give the Tribe an 8-7 lead that they would hold onto.
Scott Kazmir also provided an absolutely dandy pair of innings with three strikeouts and gave up one hit with no walks. Kazmir had swing-and-miss pitches going all day - primarily on the fastball - and to date has not given up a run this spring. He looks to be a prime candidate to make the club as a final starter or maybe even a bullpen mate.
Matt Capps and Joe Martinez served as the 8th and 9th inning men, respectively, and shut the door on the White Sox as the Tribe completed the comeback win and their sixth win of the spring season.
The Tribe will square up against the Padres in Goodyear again on Saturday as Ubaldo Jimenez makes his first start of the spring.
One correction: Jimenez already debuted in relief of Masterson's first start (0 R, though had a better third inning than fourth inning); you might have meant first spring training start.