Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 8/25/12
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Justin Masterson handled New York's power-packed lineup for 6 2-3 innings and Michael Brantley hit a three-run homer as the Cleveland Indians snapped a nine-game skid with a 3-1 win over the Yankees on Saturday night. It's the second time this month that Masterson (10-11) has busted a long losing streak for the Indians. On Aug. 8, he beat Minnesota and stopped Cleveland's 11-game slide, one loss shy of the club record. Brantley homered in the first inning off Hiroki Kuroda (12-9), and the Indians, who were in playoff contention in late July, held on to win for just the fifth time in 27 games. Cleveland is 5-18 in August. Masterson, roughed up by Oakland in his previous start, allowed one run and seven hits. He walked two, struck out six and worked his way out of a major mess in the sixth. With the victory, the Indians avoided becoming the first team since the Kansas City Royals in 2006 to have two losing streaks of at least 10 games in the same season. Vinnie Pestano replaced Masterson in the seventh, inheriting two runners with two outs. Pestano walked Robinson Cano to load the bases before breaking Mark Teixeira's bat on a popup. Chris Perez pitched a perfect ninth for his 33rd save, striking out Derek Jeter for the final out. Despite the loss, the AL East-leading Yankees remained 3 games ahead of Tampa Bay, which lost 4-2 to Oakland. Kuroda gave up Brantley's homer in the first, but shut out Cleveland on just four hits over the next seven innings. Masterson coasted through five innings, allowing just three hits and holding a 3-0 lead. But the Yankees had him on the ropes in the sixth, when they loaded the bases with none out on two singles and a walk. Teixeira's sacrifice fly to deep center made it 3-1, and Masterson walked Curtis Granderson to refill the bases. However, Masterson got Eric Chavez on a liner to third and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo ran down Russell Martin's drive at the warning track. As Masterson walked back to the dugout, catcher Lou Marson slapped the big right-hander on the rear end after he survived New York's ominous threat. He got the first two outs in the seventh, but gave up consecutive singles to Jeter and Nick Swisher. Manager Manny Acta pulled Masterson, who got a loud ovation from the crowd of 34,374 -- nearly half of them Yankees fans -- as he left the field. Fortunately for the Indians, this time their bullpen didn't let them down. In their previous 22 losses, the Indians had the lead at some point in nine of them but their relievers blew some games in the late innings. Kuroda was in trouble immediately. He hit Jason Kipnis with a pitch leading off the first and then walked Choo with one out. Kuroda struck out Carlos Santana for the second out, but Brantley drove the right-hander's first pitch to right-center for his sixth homer. Kuroda had not given up more than three runs in his previous seven starts, but he was in an early hole and the Yankees couldn't get anything going against Masterson. New York didn't get its first hit until the fourth, when Cano doubled with two outs. But Masterson fooled Teixeira, who was caught looking at strike three to end the inning. NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he expects LHP Andy Pettitte to appear in another major league game this season. Pettitte has been on the disabled list with a broken left ankle since June 28. He threw in the outfield before the game and is scheduled to visit Dr. Chris Ahmad on Monday in New York. ... Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez has been taking dry, soft-toss swings the past two days as he continues to recover from a broken left hand. Rodriguez has missed 28 games since going on the DL on July 25. Rodriguez has been swinging one-handed and occasionally throwing a football to keep his arm strong. ... The Indians are optimistic 3B Lonnie Chisenhall will return before the season ends. He broke his right arm when he was hit by a pitch June 29 and underwent surgery. Acta said Chisenhall will take on-field batting practice Monday. He has been hitting and fielding indoors. Chisenhall may play winter ball to make up for his missed at-bats, Acta said.
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