Some Tribe fans may have had flashbacks to opening day 2012 watching Thursday’s bout between the Indians and Padres in Peoria, Arizona.
Justin Masterson shined in five innings of work leaving with a 3-2 lead. In the seventh, closer Chris Perez came in and not only blew the lead, but gave up four runs on five hits including a pair of 2-run bombs. Thankfully, it was just a spring training game with no need to play 16 innings, so fans’ nerves were spared for the time being. However, the outcome wasn’t much better than that fateful opening day game last year as the Tribe fell 6-4 to San Diego.
Bourn CF (Carson CF)Kipnis 2B (Lawson 2B)Santana C (Jeroloman C)Swisher 1B (Aguilar 1B)Brantley LF (Latimore LF)Reynolds 3B (Rohlinger 3B)Chisenhall DH (Vick DH)Stubbs RF (Booth RF)Hernandez SS
MastersonShawPerez (BS, 1) (L, 0-1)AllenSmith
In his final tune-up before opening day in Toronto, Indians’ right-hander Justin Masterson looked as sharp as ever Thursday against the Padres as he pitched five solid innings only giving up two runs while walking one and striking out seven. Masterson did also throw a wild pitch, but for the majority of his outing, he was in control. This spring, Masterson is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA, a decent improvement over the 0-3 and 9.00 ERA mark the right-hander put up in Cactus League play a year ago.
Aside from Perez’s blowup in the seventh inning, the Tribe bullpen was solid as right-handers Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and Joe Smith pitched three shutout innings combined with two strikeouts. Shaw and Allen have both been named to the bullpen to start the season, but both have a chance at being sent down to AAA shortly after the season starts since the Indians will be starting the year with an extra man in the bullpen to give the team additional relief options during the demanding season-opening schedule.
Drew Stubbs, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana gave the Indians a boost offensively Thursday as they combined for three RBI. Kipnis has had a slow start this spring as he’s hit a mere .170, but over the last two games, the Tribe second baseman has an RBI double and a solo home run. Not much has been said about new Indians right fielder Drew Stubbs this spring, but he has put up solid numbers hitting .259 with eight RBI along with three doubles and two triples. Stubbs is looking to have a breakout season after several disappointing years in Cincinnati.
Quick Game Facts:
The Indians’ loss to the Padres on Thursday marks their fifth straight loss. The last win was Saturday March 23rd against the Rockies 10-5.
Carlos Santana struck out once in four at-bats against the Padres marking the first time the Indians catcher has struck out in 27 at-bats in Cactus League play this spring.
Right-handed reliever Bryan Shaw struck out one in Thursday’s game. In nine appearances this spring, Shaw has recorded at least one strikeout in each outing.
Up Next: Indians vs. Royals @ Surprise. First pitch at 3:05 ET.
Indians #2 starter Ubaldo Jimenez will try to finish off what has ultimately been a strong spring training performance for the right hander. In six outings this spring, Jimenez has only truly been roughed up once back on March 2nd when he surrendered five runs to San Diego in two innings of work. Friday, Jimenez hopes to end his Cactus League campaign with five consecutive quality starts as he toes the rubber against Jeremy Guthrie and the hot-streaking Royals.