Created on Monday, 07 April 2014 Written by TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The imposing right-hander on the mound to start the game looked like Justin Masterson, All-Star and ace.
However, he certainly didn't pitch like Cleveland's No. 1 starter.
Not even close.
Masterson followed up a stellar start on opening day with a dud, lasting just 3 2-3 innings as the Indians were outslugged 10-7 on Sunday by the Minnesota Twins, who won the final two games of the three-game series.
Masterson pitched brilliantly in Cleveland's opener last week in Oakland, breezing through seven shutout innings. He struggled from the outset against the Twins, allowing five earned runs and seven hits. He also walked three, hit two batters and needed 97 pitches to record just 11 outs.
Hardly the start the Indians have come to expect from the All-Star, who gave a critical review of his performance afterward, referring to himself as "a big dummy" and "fool."
"It seemed like it was one of those days in general," said Masterson, who tabled contract talks on a long-term deal with the Indians during spring training. "You want to make some adjustments, but it just didn't happen. That was kind of the hard part. I was trying to throw some sliders, but was still yanking them and I was unable to really get to the nit and gritty when I needed to and I wasn't able to get into the strike zone."
Chris Colabello drove in four runs and Brian Dozier scored three times as the Twins bounced back after losing the series opener.
Colabello, who played seven seasons of independent ball in Canada before signing with the Twins in 2012, broke a 6-6 tie with a three-run double in the sixth inning off Blake Wood (0-1).
Joe Mauer had three hits and scored twice for Minnesota, which went 3-3 on a season-opening road trip and will play its home opener Monday against Oakland.
Anthony Swarzak (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Ricky Nolasco. Glen Perkins worked a perfect ninth for his second save.
David Murphy had four hits, Jason Kipnis had three RBIs and Yan Gomes hit a two-run homer for Cleveland.
The Indians battled back from a 6-2 deficit by scoring three times in the fourth on Kipnis' bases-clearing double and then tied it in the fifth on Murphy's RBI double. But Cleveland couldn't capitalize on other chances as the Indians grounded into rally-killing double plays in the sixth and eighth and stranded 12 runners.
"I thought we clawed back really well, that's not easy to do," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I thought we swung the bats pretty well. Sometimes the ballpark plays big."
Masterson's outing continued a poor early trend this season for Cleveland's five starters, who are a combined 0-2 with a 5.83 ERA.
Francona, though, said it's too early to worry. He'll take a patient approach.
"You know what, this was Masty's second time pitching," he said. "His first time out he was pretty good. He wasn't as good today, but I don't think you start to give up on your guys on April 6th. Not saying we don't want them to do better, but I think you can rush to judgment and miss out on some really good players."
NOTES: Progressive Field had its first replay challenge in the ninth when Francona contested whether Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe had missed the plate while scoring on a sacrifice fly. After a 66-second delay, the call was confirmed. ... The Indians are batting just .191 (13 of 60) with runners in scoring position through six games. ... Indians starting CF Michael Bourn, on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, needs to play a few more minor league games before he's ready to be activated. He played seven innings for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday, his first action since getting hurt in a March 16 exhibition. Bourn underwent surgery on the hamstring following last season. "We've just got to make sure with a hamstring that it's ready, because it's kind of hard to gauge," he said. "It's hard to go all out to know that you've got to trust yourself on everything. I use my legs for pretty much a lot of my game." ... The Indians acquired right-hander Duke von Schamann from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for lefty Colt Hynes, who was designated for assignment on March 30. The Indians sent von Schamann to Double-A Akron. ... The Indians open a three-game interleague series on Monday against San Diego.