Catcher Carlos Santana said Justin Masterson's slider was perfect. Justin Masterson begged to differ. "He's too kind" said Masterson. "Carlos likes to use the word perfect a little too often." After Masterson out-dueled Yu Darvish on Saturday night in the Indians' 1-0 victory over Texas at Progressive Field Masterson was the only one objecting to his catcher's critique. "Tonight his slider was perfect" said Santana. "He threw it for strikes no matter what the count. With his sinker going into right-handers the slider was a great pitch for him." The Rangers went 0-8 with five strikeouts in at-bats that ended with Masterson throwing his slider. Michael Bourn supplied the only run of the game driving Darvish's second pitch of the night over the right-field fence for the seventh leadoff homer of his career and the second this season. "Any homer I hit is an accident" said Bourn. "There's only one time I ever hit a homer when I was trying to and that was in Double-A." Bourn was facing Darvish (9-5 2.80) for the first time in his career. "I heard a lot about him" said Bourn. "Let's just say I believe the hype." Bourn's leadoff homer didn't rattle Darvish it ticked him off. He retired the next five batters four on strikeouts. Masterson (12-7 3.42) and Darvish represented the American League at the All-Star Game and they pitched like it on Saturday. Masterson went 7 2/3 innings striking out eight walking one and allowing five hits. Darvish pitched six innings struck out 11 walked four and allowed three hits. Darvish who leads the big leagues with 172 strikeouts has struck out 10 or more in seven games this season.
Indians ace Justin Masterson out-duels Rangers' Yu Darvish, 1-0
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Jul 28