Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Eric Young Jr. hit the go-ahead RBI double in the ninth while Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 5 2/3 strong frames as the New York Mets avoided a three-game sweep with a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians Sunday at Progressive Field.
Young sliced a double down the right-field line off Cleveland closer Chris Perez, scoring Matt den Dekker from second to end Cleveland’s four-game winning streak.
Matsuzaka pitched into the sixth inning and was charged with one run on three hits before he was pulled out after he was hit by a line drive by Jason Kubel.
The 32-year-old Matsuzaka, who earlier pitched 19 games for the Indians’ Triple-A club Columbus Clippers, issued three walks and recorded six strikeouts on 103 pitches for a no-decision for the Mets (64-77).
After the Indians failed to bring him up from Triple-A, Matsuzaka asked for his unconditional release before signing with the Mets as a free agent.
Before Sunday, Matsuzaka was 0-7 with a 12.86 ERA in his last eight outings, dating back to Sept. 2, 2012. He hasn’t won since Aug. 27 of last year.
Frank Francisco (1-0) earned the win after forcing Asdrubal Cabrera into a groundout that resulted in a double play in the eighth inning. LaTroy Hawkins got his eighth save by pitching a scoreless ninth.
Danny Salazar pitched four innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. Perez (5-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up the game-winning hit to Young.
With the defeat, the Indians (76-66) will be no more than two games out of the AL’s second Wild Card slot, pending the result of Tampa Bay Rays’ meeting with the Seattle Mariners later Sunday.
The Mets jumped on the board earlier in the game when Justin Turner led off with a homer off Salazar in the fourth. The Indians tied the game in the sixth inning when Vic Black hit Cabrera with the bases loaded.