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Associated Press, Published July 21 2013

Masterson's pitching helps Indians avoid sweep against Twins

MINNEAPOLIS – Ailing Twins manager Ron Gardenhire came into his office looking as sick as his team’s bats appeared in Minnesota’s 7-1 loss to Cleveland.

Gardenhire has been bothered by the flu for two days and watched the game from the Target Field clubhouse while bench coach Terry Steinbach called the shots in the dugout before taking his turn in front of reporters.

“Jeeze, you almost got no-hit,” Gardenhire to Steinbach. “Get them the hell out of here.”

The ease Gardenhire showed in dismissing the media was similar to how simple Cleveland’s Justin Masterson made it look in limiting the Twins to one hit in seven shutout innings.

The Twins’ only base hit off Masterson was a broken-bat, bloop double to center field by Brian Dozier, who doubled again in the ninth. The rest of Minnesota’s batting order came up empty against Masterson and three relievers.

“We got some pretty good hitters in our lineup, and he went through it pretty easily,” Steinbach said. “He had his good stuff going. He was nasty.”

Masterson (11-7) had faced the minimum through six, allowing only a hit batter, when Dozier dunked the first pitch of the seventh inning into center field and under the glove of a sliding Drew Stubbs.

“Those are always hard to read, a broken bat,” Masterson said. “In the end we get a victory, and that’s what I want to see and that’s what I wanted.”

The Indians led 3-0 on Mike Aviles’ sacrifice fly and a two-run homer by Jason Kipnis when they loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a walk to Kipnis and consecutive singles by Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana off Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (5-9).

With right-hander Anthony Swarzak warming in the bullpen, Steinbach visited Diamond on the mound. Diamond got Mark Reynolds to pop out to first for the second out, but Michael Brantley hit a liner to the wall in right-center for a standup triple that cleared the bases and ended Diamond’s day.

“I was one pitch away in the fifth,” Diamond said. “It’s frustrating that I couldn’t get that last out.”

Cleveland Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Stubbs cf 4 0 1 0 Dozier 2b 4 1 2 0

ACarer ss 5 1 0 0 CHrmn c 4 0 0 0

Kipnis 2b 4 2 2 3 Mauer dh 4 0 0 1

Swisher dh 5 1 1 0 Mornea 1b 4 0 0 0

CSantn c 3 1 1 0 Doumit rf 3 0 0 0

MrRynl 1b 3 1 0 0 Plouffe 3b 2 0 0 0

Brantly lf 4 0 1 3 Bernier 3b 0 0 0 0

Raburn rf 4 0 2 0 Thoms lf 3 0 0 0

Aviles 3b 3 1 1 1 Hicks cf 1 0 0 0

Flormn ss 3 0 0 0

Totals 35 7 9 7 Totals 28 1 2 1

Cleveland 012 030 001— 7

Minnesota 000 000 100— 1

E—Kipnis (8), Plouffe (7). DP—Cleveland 1, Minnesota 2. LOB—Cleveland 6, Minnesota 3. 2B—Raburn (12), Dozier 2 (17). 3B—Brantley (2). HR—Kipnis (15). CS—Hicks (3). SF—Aviles.

IP H R ER BB SO

Cleveland

Mastersn W,11-7 7 1 1 1 0 8

C.C.Lee Zc 0 0 0 2 1

Allen Xc 0 0 0 0 0

C.Perez 1 1 0 0 0 1

Minnesota

Diamond L,5-9 4Xc 7 6 5 3 0

Swarzak 1Zc 0 0 0 0 0

Thielbar 1 0 0 0 0 0

Roenicke 1 0 0 0 0 2

Pressly 1 2 1 1 1 0

HBP—by Masterson (Hicks).

T—2:38. A—31,753 (39,021).