April 7, 2013
In Game 1 of 2013, Justin Masterson and the Indians defeated the Blue Jays behind NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, who had been traded from the Mets in the offseason.
The Indians sat at 2-3 on the season coming into Game 6 against the Rays. The Tribe Entered Sunday afternoon at the Trop’ with reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price on the mound. It seemed a cruel twist of fate to face both of the previous year’s Cy Young winners in the first week of the season.
Masterson pitched a gem of a game. Seven innings, eight strikeouts, and only three walks. Masterson faced a bases-loaded threat only once in the bottom of the first. With Ben Zobrist on third, Evan Longoria on second, and James Loney on first, Masterson struck out Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar on three straight pitches to end the threat.
Michael Bourn led off the game with a double and then stole third, but the Indians were retired without scoring. In the top of the 2nd, Drew Stubbs drove in Mike Aviles to put the Tribe on the board.
In the top of the 3rd, Price walked Asdrubal Cabrera and Ryan Raburn. After a lineout by Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds hit a home run to deep center field. After that, the rout was on. Lonnie Chisenhall, and Michael Bourn notched their first home runs of the season. Carlos Santana had an incredible day with 5 hits in 5 appearances, including a line drive home run off the right field foul pole to add an exclamation point to the 13-0 game.
After the game, Masterson demurred with some solid pitcher platitudes,
”The boys came out and they just bamboozled, just started hitting some balls,” Masterson said. ”It was pretty cool to see. That’s pretty much the testament. They played good defense, made some good plays out there, and they were just crushing balls. And they were putting runs on the board, and it makes the job on the pitcher a lot easier.”
In 1989 Bruce Hurst and the San Diego Padres defeated Orel Hershiser with the Dodgers and Frank Viola after Viola was traded from the Twins to the Mets at the trade deadline in 1989. Pitching for the Braves in 2003, Shane Reynolds defeated Randy Johnson with the Diamondbacks and Barry Zito with the Athletics in an interleague game. However, Masterson is the only pitcher to have accomplished this unlikely feat, dueling with the reigning Cy Young winners in consecutive starts and coming out on top.