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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 17th (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (9-4) at Cleveland Indians (5-7), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Alfredo Aceves (0-0, 6.75) Cleveland - Justin Masterson (3-0, 0.41)
(Sports Network) - Justin Masterson tries to become the first pitcher to four wins on Wednesday when the Cleveland Indians continue a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field.
Masterson hasn't allowed a run in his last 19 innings and is coming off a brilliant five-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox. Masterson had surrendered two hits over seven scoreless innings in his previous outing and is 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA on the year.
"I could say all you want me to," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He threw an obscene amount of strikes. The two-seamer had some depth to it -- a lot of depth to it. The four-seamer had some ride and life. His breaking ball was very good, and he's attacking the zone. He's quick to the plate when a runner gets on. It was fun to watch."
Masterson, a second round pick of the Red Sox back in 2006, has faced his former team five times and is 3-1 against them with a 3.21 ERA.
Boston, meanwhile, will turn to righty Alfredo Aceves, who has pitched to a 6.75 ERA without recording a decision. Aceves started the year in Boston's bullpen, but was forced to start in place of the injured John Lackey. He allowed two runs and six hits in five innings to Baltimore in his first start.
This will be Aceves' first start against the Indians. However, he has faced them six times in relief, pitching to a 2.35 ERA without recording a decision.
With heavy hearts Boston won its fourth straight game on Tuesday, as Mike Napoli's three-run double punctuated a seven-run second inning in a 7-2 win. Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ross and Pedro Ciriaco were credited with an RBI each for the Red Sox, who were coming off a weekend sweep of the Rays.
Felix Doubront (1-0) worked five innings for the win, allowing four hits and two runs, fanning seven and walking four.
"Given the events that have taken place ... this was a good way to send some positive energy back towards Boston," Red Sox manager John Farrell said, referring to the tragedy during Monday's Boston Marathon.
No Red Sox pitcher has allowed more than three runs in a start this season. It's the longest stretch since the 1990 Milwaukee Brewers had a streak that hit 14 games to start their campaign.
Michael Brantley collected two hits and Mike Aviles knocked in a run for the Indians, who had won two of three in Chicago.
Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) was lit up for two hits and seven runs, including five walks, while recording only five outs.
"Everything felt good coming out of my hand (early on), but then it just failed me fast," Jimenez said.
Boston was 5-3 against the Indians last season.
04/17 10:25:42 ET
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