Giants take aim at Indians, fourth straight win

June 25, 2011, 4:42 pm
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June 25, 2011
CLEVELAND (40-34) vs.GIANTS (42-34)1:10 p.m.
(AP) -- Continuing a recent surge may not get any easier for the San Francisco Giants. They'll next face a pitcher who hasn't won in nearly two months and a team that's going to have to get by without a key player for a while.The Giants will try to win their fourth straight game and extend Justin Masterson's misery as they continue their weekend set with the Cleveland Indians, who will be without the injured Shin-Soo Choo.
NEWS: Indians' Choo breaks thumb, headed to DL
Masterson (5-5, 3.18 ERA) continues to be plagued by a lack of run support. The right-hander is 0-5 in 10 starts since April 26, while getting a total of eight runs in support. He gave up two runs and scattered seven hits over five innings Sunday, and didn't get a decision in the Indians' 5-2, 11-inning win over Pittsburgh.Manager Manny Acta wasn't happy with the outing from his starter."Masterson struggled with his command of his fastball," Acta told the Indians' official website. "He couldn't pitch inside to lefties and racked up his pitch count."Set to make his first appearance against San Francisco, Masterson is 1-2 with a 5.16 ERA in four interleague road starts.Matt Cain (6-4, 3.44) looks to win his fourth straight start for the Giants. On Sunday, the right-hander gave up a run and three hits with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. However, Cain didn't get much backing and the Giants fell 2-1 to Oakland."Every at-bat he showed guys different stuff. He didn't give us anything easy," the Athletics' Landon Powell said of Cain, who retired 14 in a row at one point.Cain also received very little support in his only start against Cleveland, a 4-1 loss in 2008.San Francisco (42-34) may need him to go deep into this game. Four relievers combined for 4 1-3 hitless innings in Friday's 4-3 win after an erratic start from Jonathan Sanchez. He gave up three runs and two hits, but also walked a season-high six in 4 2-3 innings.Andres Torres - stuck in a 1 for 18 slump over his previous seven games - finished with three hits, including a homer, and scored the go-ahead run on Aubrey Huff's sacrifice fly in the sixth."I just tried to calm my mind," Torres said. "Sometimes I have a lot of stuff going and I'm just trying to learn how to relax myself and things like that."Meanwhile, Choo is headed to the disabled list after suffering a broken left thumb when he was hit by a pitch from Sanchez in the fourth inning.It's merely the latest setback for Choo, a three-time .300 hitter who's batting just .244 with five homers and 28 RBIs this year. He also was arrested in early May on suspicion of drunken driving."He's going to be out for a while," Acta said. "He means so much for us offensively, defensively, running the bases. ... He's an important part of our lineup. It's a big blow."Austin Kearns, who shifted from left to right field in place of Choo, went 0 for 4 to drop his average to .198.The Indians (40-34) have dropped three of four against NL teams after winning their first six interleague matchups.