Half the Indians were in Mesa to face the Chicago Cubs. Justin Masterson started, and pitched really well, going 5 shutout innings with an impressive line of 8 strikeouts, 0 walks, and 2 hits. He's been rolling all month, which we can only hope carries over to the regular season. Perhaps to celebrate his fine outing, the Indians will offer him a contract extension that's to his looking this week???
Masterson was followed by Bryan Shaw (who allowed a run), Cody Allen (who allowed a couple base runners, but no runs), Kyle Crockett (the Tribe's 4th-round pick last here, he struck out 2 in a scoreless frame), and C.C. Lee (who allowed an unearned run caused in part by an error by Francisco Lindor).
The big man on offense for the Tribe against the Cubs was Carlos Santana. He doubled in his first AB, hit a fly ball to the warning track his next time up, and then did this:
It was his second home run of the spring, and it proved to be the winning run in a 3-2 game.
The rest of the team was in Scottsdale to face the Giants. Aaron Harang started, and while he wasn't as good as Masterson, he did well, allowing only 1 run in 4 innings, with 3 strikeouts and 1 walk. Five relievers combined for 5 shutout innings after that, as the Indians won 5-1.
Two wins on the back of two good starting pitching performances, with a number of key position players providing big hits gives Tribe fans a lot to smile about today. Sadly, it isn't all good news, as center fielder Michael Bourn left early due to a strained left hamstring. Hopefully it's a minor strain, and his removal was precautionary, but we'll have to wait until he's given a closer look and the team announces more tomorrow.