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Cleveland Indians

Masterson overcomes bad first inning

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 17, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Justin Masterson had a horrid start but stuck around to throw five innings and 77 pitches, as the Indians and Reds played to a 7-7 tie today at Goodyear Ballpark.
   Xavier Paul hit a three-run homer and Todd Frazier whacked a two-run blast in the first inning, as Masterson gave up four hits and walked one before he retired the side.
   “”There were a couple of things,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “”First of all, he had his best stuff of the spring. He left a couple of balls up, but when he got the ball down like he wanted, he had a tremendous sinker.’’
   After the first, Masterson yielded only one hit and a walk through the fifth.
His problems in the first centered around a small flaw. He opened up his hips a shade too far and was not directing the ball to the target area. He discovered the problem and fixed it.
“”I threw some really good pitches then I hung one,’’ he said, referring to Paul’s homer. “”Frazier’s was just a high fly ball that you get in Arizona. Balls have been flying out of here the last couple of days.’’ 
   Francona said that he and Tribe staffers had extensive discussions about Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has fallen behind other starters and probably will have difficulty catching up because there aren’t enough innings to go around for more than six or serven starters.
“”We’ll probably talk with him tomorrow,’’ the manager said. 
   Scott Kazmir pitched in a Triple-A game today and gave up four runs (three earned), eight hits and one walk in five innings.
   Before today, he had not given up a run in 11 innings of work in exhibition games and Triple-A games. He has walked only three in 16 innings.
   Chris Perez (shoulder strain) will throw another bullpen Monday, following a 15-pitch bullpen Saturday.
   “”He’ll throw a monitored bullpen tomorrow,’’ Francona said. “”But after that, he’ll have a regular mound day. He’s doing really well. His intensity has exceeded what we were hoping for.’’

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