Masterson tosses a spotless two in victory

Masterson tosses a spotless two in victory

Indians 9, Reds 2
at Goodyear, Ariz.
March 5, 2010

Reds at the plate: The Reds used something likely close to their Opening Day lineup, but their starters did not have much success by collecting only two hits. Scott Rolen hit a one-out single in the second inning and Ramon Hernandez led off the third with a double. ... Miguel Cairo ended a potential shutout with an eighth-inning RBI double to center field that scored Ryan Hanigan. Cairo scored on a Paul Janish sacrifice fly.

Indians at the plate: Asdrubal Cabrera got the game started for Cleveland with a leadoff home run to right field on a full-count pitch. Shin-Soo Choo hit an RBI triple to center field in the fourth inning that scored Lou Marson. Cabrera and Choo both went 2-for-3 in the game. Pinch-hitting in the fifth, non-roster invite Brian Buscher hit a solo home run to right field.

Reds on the mound: It was a tough afternoon for fifth-starter candidate Mike Lincoln, who gave up four earned runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. Most of the hits were solid shots, including Cabrera's to start the game. Another contender for the fifth spot, Matt Maloney, fared better with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, one walk and two strikeouts. Justin Lehr, yet another fifth-spot seeker, gave up two earned runs and four hits -- including a home run -- over two innings.

Indians on the mound: Starter Justin Masterson pitched two scoreless innings with one hit and three strikeouts. Kerry Wood followed and allowed one hit, one walk and hit a batter during his one inning of work. Aaron Laffey provided two perfect innings with one strikeout.

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Worth noting: Jay Bruce checked his swing on a strikeout pitch in the second inning, and the barrel of the bat went flying off the handle. Apparently he broke the bat the pitch before when he fouled it off but didn't notice.

"I thought he was throwing the bat at me," Masterson said with a laugh. "I was like, 'Come on, dude. I'm sorry.'"

Cactus League records: Reds 0-1; Indians 1-0

Up next: The same two teams meet up again at 3:05 p.m. ET/1:05 MT, but this time the Indians will be the home club. Johnny Cueto will start for the Reds and following will be two pitchers with a stake in the fifth-starter battle -- Travis Wood and Kip Wells. Their first-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, right-handed pitcher Mike Leake, could also see action.

The Indians' most important spring battle is in the back end of the rotation, and two of the primary combatants, David Huff and Mitch Talbot, will both pitch on Saturday against the Reds. Huff, who led the Tribe with 11 wins as a rookie last year, will get the start. Talbot, acquired in the December trade that sent Kelly Shoppach to the Rays, will follow him.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.