While seeking a season-high third straight win, the right-hander will get the chance to end another skid for his club in Sunday's series finale against the Oakland Athletics .
Masterson (9-10, 4.50 ERA) had allowed a combined 17 runs over two games before facing Minnesota on Aug. 8, but helped the Indians end a season-high 11-game skid with a 6-2 win. He tossed six scoreless innings in a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, as the Indians snapped a 10-game road losing streak.
"I had no clue (about the skid). I just wanted to go out and pitch well," Masterson said. "Starting another long road trip, you want to start out with a good effort. And that's what I was trying to give us. ... I'll definitely take the effort that I had tonight."
In his next start, Masterson will try to help Cleveland (54-66) end a four-game slide. The Indians have been outscored 31-19 during that skid and trailed by seven runs after the eighth inning Saturday before scoring late in an 8-5 defeat.
The A's Yoenis Cespedes homered and drove in three runs during his team's third straight victory and fourth in a row at home. Cespedes is batting .379 in his last 33 games, but has only three extra-base hits over his last 18, two homers and a double.
"He gets frustrated, he gets mad but he never presses," manager Bob Melvin said. "Shoot, when we signed him if we knew he'd have the numbers he has right now, boy we would have taken it in a heartbeat."
Masterson might go a long way in helping the Indians snap their latest losing streak by ending his struggles at Oakland (64-55), who trail by one-half game in the AL wild-card race.
The right-hander is 0-3 with an 11.08 ERA in three career starts there. He gave up four runs and walked six over five innings during a 5-1 loss at O.co Coliseum on April 22.
Masterson, though, might have a good opportunity at his first win in Oakland on Sunday as he'll pitch opposite a struggling Jarrod Parker (7-7, 3.71). The right-hander is 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA over his last four starts and gave up five runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 5-0 loss in Kansas City on Tuesday.
"It's just going to take a well-pitched game," Melvin said of what Parker needs. "I thought he was on his way tonight, but one inning got him out of his rhythm and we had to take him out.
"Pitchers go through ups and downs. He's going through a tough part right now and he's just got to fight his way through it."
In his first start against Cleveland, Parker will try to lead the A's to their first sweep of the Indians since they won all four games in Oakland from Sept. 17-20, 2009. They recorded their most recent three-game home sweep of the Indians from April 25-27, 2003.
|August 13, 2012||Josh Tomlin||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 13, 2012||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||Day-to-Day||Back soreness|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||15-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|June 30, 2012||Lonnie Chisenhall||60-Day DL||Fractured right ulna - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 29, 2012||Lonnie Chisenhall||Day-to-Day||Fractured right ulna - out 4-6 weeks|
|August 12, 2012||Brandon Inge||15-Day DL||Dislocated right shoulder|
|August 12, 2012||Brandon Inge||Day-to-Day||Dislocated right shoulder|
|August 07, 2012||Eric Sogard||15-Day DL||Strained back|
|August 05, 2012||A.J. Griffin||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|August 04, 2012||A.J. Griffin||Day-to-Day||Sore right shoulder|
|August 03, 2012||Seth Smith||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jarrod Parker didn't argue when Oakland manager Bob Melvin took him out of the game after eight scoreless innings.
Given the way he's pitched the past month, the rookie right-hander saw no point in it.
Parker and Ryan Cook combined on a seven-hit shutout, and the A's beat the Cleveland Indians 7-0 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.
"It's Bob's job and I trust in every decision that he makes," Parker said. "He has my future in mind and the best interests for the team, and in a 7-0 game, it's no reason to really push it."
Parker (8-7), possibly pitching to keep his spot in the rotation following three consecutive losses, gave up six hits, struck out two and walked one. He retired 16 of his final 18 batters and didn't allow a run despite pitching with runners in scoring position most of the afternoon.
The Indians put two runners on in the second, third and sixth but Parker worked out of trouble each time.
That's significant because two other Oakland starters, Brett Anderson and A.J. Griffin, are set to come off the disabled list soon to rejoin the rotation. Anderson could be activated as early as Monday.
Melvin hasn't said which of the A's current starters will be pushed out, though it's reasonable to assume Parker was and still may among those being considered.
He had lost three straight games, was winless since July 21 and had gone past the sixth only twice in his previous six starts before pairing with Cook for Oakland's 11th shutout this season.
"I was able to throw a lot two-seamers down in the zone, in and out," Parker said. "I just wanted to compress the damage and just try to slow it down and relax and make a couple of pitches when I needed to."
Leadoff hitter Coco Crisp homered and drove in five runs for Oakland while Brandon Moss added a solo shot and Cliff Pennington scored three times.
The A's won their fourth in a row and moved 10 games over .500, matching their high mark of the season.
Shin-Soo Choo singled twice for the Indians, who have lost five straight on their nine-game road trip.
"We were completely outplayed by these guys, especially outpitched, the whole series," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "We have struggled in areas that are not conducive to winning games and it's shown."
Cleveland was shut out for the sixth time this season. It was so bad for the Indians that Casey Kotchman got thrown out rounding first base after his high popup fell between a pair of Oakland infielders for a single.
The A's didn't have any such problems against starter Justin Masterson (9-11).
Oakland scored in four consecutive innings off the Cleveland right-hander, with Crisp doing the most damage. He had had RBI singles in the third and sixth, sandwiched around his three-run homer in the fifth.
Masterson, who had a 1.38 ERA over his previous two starts, allowed nine hits and struck out five while losing to the A's for the second time this season.
The Indians haven't had a winning road trip since taking two of three from the White Sox in early May. They fell to 1-5 on their current trip heading into a three-game series in Seattle beginning Monday.
NOTES: Griffin threw a second straight bullpen session without pain and could come off the disabled list Monday. ... RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (9-12) will take a second try at earning his 10th victory for Cleveland in Monday's series opener against Seattle. Jimenez has won at least 10 games in each of the previous four years. ... Oakland RHP Brandon McCarthy , coming off his first loss since April, pitches for the A's in Minnesota. McCarthy (6-4) is unbeaten in four career starts against the Twins.