(Sports Network) - Justin Masterson tries for his first win in six starts this afternoon when the Cleveland Indians play the rubber match of their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Masterson opened the year by winning his first five starts and pitching to a 2.18 earned run average. He has gone 0-2 in his five starts since, but has only seen his ERA rise to 2.50, as he has allowed more than two earned runs just once since his winning streak. The sinkerballing right-hander did not get a decision on Monday against Boston, as he allowed two runs and four hits in 7 2/3 innings of his teams 3-2 win. Masterson had his worst start of the year against the Rays back on May 12 when he surrendered five runs in 5 2/3 innings. For his career against Tampa he is 1-5 with a 6.28 ERA in 10 games, six of which have been starts. Cleveland bounced back on Saturday after a loss in Fridays opener, as pinch- hitter Shelley Duncan and Orlando Cabrera both singled in a pair during the eighth inning, when the Indians capitalized on a huge error by Ben Zobrist to pull out a 7-3 win. Matt LaPorta belted his sixth homer of the year, while Michael Brantley had a pair of hits and scored twice for Cleveland, which snapped a three-game slide. Carlos Carrasco (4-2) allowed seven hits and a pair of runs over six innings to win his third consecutive start. James Shields (5-3) struck out eight batters over seven innings, but lost six days after tying the franchise-record for strikeouts in a game with 13 against Florida. The right-hander fell to 1-5 in his career against the Indians. He left a couple of pitches up and we took advantage of it, Indians manager Manny Acta said. Its always huge because once he gets in a rhythm with those pitches he has it would have been tough, as it proved to be after that first inning. Evan Longoria, batting leadoff, homered for the Rays, losers in six of their last eight games. Longoria had been 3-for-his-last-25 before breaking out with two hits at the top of the lineup on Saturday. Heading to the hill for Tampa this afternoon will be rookie right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who is 5-3 with a 3.14 ERA. Hellickson had a four-start winning streak stopped on Monday in Detroit, despite another solid effort that saw him allow two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Hellickson has never faced the Indians. Tampa Bay won two of three meetings at Cleveland from May 10-12 this season and is 10-4 in the previous 13 encounters between the two teams. The loss on Saturday was just the Rays second in their last 11 home games against the Indians Wholesale Jerseys From China
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. On Monday night, he certainly appeared to like the leadoff spot. Castro, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd combined for seven hits, five runs and three RBIs and the Chicago Cubs held on for a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros.DENVER -- LeBron James returned from a groin injury to score 26 points on his birthday, and the Miami Heat beat the skidding Denver Nuggets 97-94 Monday night despite losing Dwyane Wade and Norris Cole during the game. James, who turned 29 on Monday, injured his groin Friday during the Heats overtime loss at Sacramento. He sat out the following game, a 108-107 win Saturday in Portland, before coming back to help send the Nuggets to their seventh consecutive loss. Chris Bosh had 17 points and Ray Allen 13, including six in the final 5:08, as Miami won for the ninth time in 11 games. Ty Lawson had 26 points to lead the Nuggets, who lost their second straight to Miami at the Pepsi Center after winning the previous 10 in a row. While the Heat got James back, they were without Wade and Cole for much of the game. Cole left midway through the third quarter after taking a fall at the end of a driving layup attempt and hitting his face on the floor. He had come into the game in place of Wade, who didnt return after halftime because of back spasms, the Heat said on Twitter. Cole went up for a shot against Lawson, who was called for a foul, and fell awkwardly face first to the floor. Cole remained down for several minutes while being tended to by trainers before being helped to his feet and assisted off the floor to the locker room for treatment. Joel Anthony came in for Cole and made both free throws. Trailing by nine at the break, the Heat opened the third quarter with a 13-0 run, regaining the lead on a 3-pointer by James. Denver fought back to take a 77-22 lead into the fourth quarter, getting successive baskets from Randy Foye and a dunk froom Timofey Mozgov to help offset another 3 by James.dddddddddddd. The teams alternated scores for most of the fourth quarter, with neither letting the other pull away. After Lawson hit a 3 to put Denver up 90-89, James and Allen converted jumpers on consecutive possessions for a 93-90 Miami lead with 1:36 remaining. Wilson Chandlers two-handed dunk got Denver within a point with 50.7 seconds left but Miami answered with a 3-pointer by Michael Beasley off a feed from James. Foyes layup with 25.1 seconds remaining pulled the Nuggets to 96-94. Allen was fouled with 15.4 seconds left and made one of two free throws. Lawsons off-balance 3-point try hit off the rim and the rebound went out of bounds off Miami, giving Denver one last chance with 1.8 seconds left. With Udonis Haslem in his face, though, J.J. Hickson didnt get the inbounds pass off within 5 seconds, turning the ball back over to Miami, which ran out the final moments. Darrell Arthur hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left in the second quarter, giving the Nuggets a 55-46 lead at halftime. Miami, which led by as many as eight points early on, had a 6-0 burst capped by Beasleys running bank shot to get to 46-43 with 2:19 left in the second. The Nuggets closed out the period by scoring nine of the next 12 points, starting with successive dunks from Kenneth Faried and Chandler. NOTES: The Heats Chris Andersen, a former Nugget, missed his third consecutive game because of a sore back. ... James has scored in double figures in 525 consecutive games, the fifth-longest streak in NBA history. ... Chandler has scored 10 or more points in 11 straight games and 19 of his last 21. ' ' '