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Indians notebook: Justin Masterson developing on and off the field

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MIAMI: Justin Masterson has gone from erratic and unreliable to ace of the Indians’ staff in one season.

There have been obvious improvements, like command of the strike zone and a sharper and more consistent slider. Some things aren’t readily apparent, unless you happen to be hanging around the clubhouse early in the morning.

“I was there early Sunday morning, and at 8:15 Masterson was there,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “This is the kind of thing that shows he gets it.”

WHY SPEND THE CASH? — A retractable roof covers Marlins Park, but nobody knows when team officials will open it next for a game.

This season, the Marlins lost 12 games in a row with the roof open, and it’s been closed since.

The roof is open until about 3:30 in the afternoon, so the grass can grow.

GOOD RATINGS — According to Fox SportsTime Ohio, ratings for the first three games against the Chicago White Sox (8.42, 8.16, 8.33) earlier in the week were among the top five for the season, trailing only Opening Day (8.57) and a July 8 game against the Detroit Tigers (8.47).

FARM FACTS — Trevor Bauer (5-4, 3.82 ERA) gave up three earned runs (five total), six hits and five walks in five innings, as Columbus lost to Buffalo 5-1 in Class AAA. … Bryson Myles doubled, singled twice and drove in a run, as Carolina defeated Frederick 9-5 in Class A. Nick Pasquale (4-6, 4.33 ERA) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. … Dylan Baker allowed two runs and five hits in 5⅔ innings in Lake County’s 3-2 win over Fort Wayne in Class A. Dorssys Paulino had two hits and two RBI.

— Sheldon Ocker


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