Indians beat Cubs 3-2 in split-squad game

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm •  Published: March 16, 2014

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Justin Masterson was so good Sunday that he hit the bullpen for more work after his spring outing was over.

Masterson struck out eight in five scoreless innings, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs in a split-squad game.

"It's nice to see the ball sinking, and the slider sliding pretty good," he said.

Masterson allowed two hits and walked none. He is slated to start on opening day.

Masterson's breezy outing seemed so effortless that manager Terry Francona had the right-hander throw a simulated inning in the bullpen when he was done facing the Cubs.

"He's just building." Francona said. "You see a little bit more power to the fastball. He's got three more starts, and he'll be ready to go."

Masterson has yet to allow an earned run this spring. He avoided many of the Cubs regulars, but he said the unfamiliar lineup also presented its own challenge.

"I have to make the adjustment off how they swing, make the adjustment off what they do with any given pitch, then the next time they come up remember that and make the adjustment," he said.

"In that sense, it challenges you quite a bit."

Carlos Santana had a solo homer and a double for Cleveland.

Chen-Chang Lee picked up a hard-earned save. He had to deal with a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the ninth after Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor booted a double-play ball.

Lee got another double-play ball, this one turned successfully by Lindor, and the Indians got out of the inning with just one run allowed.

"I thought he kept his wits about him real well," Francona said.

Luis Valbuena went 2 for 3 with a double for the Cubs.

The game drew a sellout crowd announced at 14,918, a near-Cactus League record.

STARTING TIME

Cubs: The Indians got to Travis Wood for two runs and three hits in the first inning. But the left-hander rebounded with four scoreless innings after the shaky start.

Continue reading this story on the...