Matsuzaka, the former Boston Red Sox star, was stuck in the Tribe’s minor-league system until he finally asked for his release late in the summer. The Mets signed him, and he gave up only three hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings against the Tribe.
His performance neutralized a strong effort by Indians rookie Danny Salazar. While he only pitched four innings, Salazar gave up just four hits and a run while striking out eight. He lowered his ERA to 2.92.
This set up a battle of the bullpens, and the Tribe’s Chris Perez gave up the winning run in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by Eric Young.
Cleveland’s only run came when Asdrubal Cabrera was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Jason Kipnis.
The Indians won the series two games to one. They are still 5.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers, who lost at Kansas City 5-2.
Ubaldo Jimenez will pitch tonight for the Tribe against the Royals. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Cleveland (76-66) is two games behind Tampa Bay for the final wild-card spot.
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