Or, like so many other pitchers, maybe the right-hander just couldn’t get it done against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.
Whichever the case, Masterson extended his late-season slide by allowing six runs and eight hits while pitching only one batter into the sixth inning on a 100-degree night in a 10-4 loss at Texas on Tuesday.
David Murphy homered twice and Josh Hamilton went deep against Masterson (11-10), who made his career-high 31st start and has already thrown a career-high 205 1-3 innings this season. He is 1-3 with a 5.85 ERA over his last five starts, pushing his season ERA to 3.20, the highest it has been since the first week of June.
“Give credit to them. They hit a couple good balls. David Murphy was hot tonight. I made some decent pitches and they hit ‘em,” Masterson said. “They’re a good lineup. Any lineup in this park can be tough. For me, I didn’t get ahead or have command of the strike zone. They were sniffing out heaters and I come with a lot of heaters. When you don’t hit your spots well, they’ll make you pay for it.”
Santana added a double between his homers, completing that at-bat after fouling a pitch hard off his left shin and needing a couple of minutes to gather himself.
“He stayed in the game,” manager Manny Acta said. “He’ll be sore tomorrow, but he’s playing first base. He made a couple good swings after that. He’s OK.”
Masterson gave up six runs and eight hits with two strikeouts and three walks.
Matt Harrison (12-9) gave up three runs on seven hits while pitching into the sixth inning in his first start in nine days. The left-hander struck out four and walked one.
The last batter Masterson faced was Murphy, who led off the sixth with a slow roller up the first-base line. Masterson fielded the ball and weakly flipped it toward the bag as Murphy reached on an infield single.
That was the start of a four-run outburst off Masterson and two relievers. Craig Gentry had a pinch-hit, two-run single and Andrus a two-run double.
Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 17 games, matching a career high, when he led off the seventh with a 411-foot blast.
His 24th homer of the season came as the first major league batter faced by right-hander Zach Putnam, who then gave up a double to Murphy and a run-scoring single to Mike Napoli before finally recording an out.
Notes: Texas is 7-1 against Cleveland this season. … Cleveland is the only AL team that doesn’t have an off day the final two weeks of the regular season. The Indians had their last scheduled off day Monday. … Ian Kinsler extended his Rangers record with his 24th consecutive stolen base without getting caught. He was promptly picked off at second base, though that doesn’t affect his still-active streak. … Rangers LHP Derek Holland, 7-1 over his last 12 starts since July 7, is scheduled to make his 30th start Wednesday for Texas. Indians LHP David Huff (2-4) makes his ninth start since July 18. … It was the seventh time a Cleveland batter homered from both sides of the plate.
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