ARLINGTON -- Justin Masterson gave up a career-high three home runs at the Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday, and the Indians couldn't recover, losing, 10-4, to the Rangers.Masterson, who hadn't given up more than two home runs in a single month all season, gave up two home runs to David Murphy alone on Tuesday, and Josh Hamilton also got to him for a two-run homer. "I guess I was just trying to make up for how well I did all year," Masterson said.
"I made some good pitches, you have to give some credit to them. They had a couple good balls. David Murphy looked like he was hot tonight. There were some times when I got in poor counts, but overall, I felt good out there."Murphy became the first player to homer off Masterson twice in a single season. "He missed out over the plate a little bit," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Usually, he struggles against lefties when he can't get the ball in there to them. When you fall behind to Hamilton, you have to throw the ball over the plate, and that's not a very good thing to do." Hamilton laced a 414-foot shot in the fifth inning on a 3-1 count. While Hamilton hit it a long way, the pitch was still low and away to the reigning American League Most Valuable Player. "I thought it caught more of the middle of the plate, but when I went back and looked at it, it was actually a decent pitch away," Masterson said. "It was 3-1, I'm sure he was out there looking fastball. I challenged him, and he took the challenge and challenged me back." Masterson was clearly laboring from the start, as it took him 38 pitches to get through the first two innings. "He did well tonight, but the bottom line is we made him work," Murphy said. "In the first inning, we made him throw 25 pitches. We didn't score, but that was a good start. He's got nasty stuff and is tough on right-handers, but we just grinded out our at-bats." Even with Masterson's uncharacteristic struggles with keeping the ball in the park, the Indians were only trailing 4-3 when Masterson left the game in the sixth inning. The bullpen couldn't get out of a jam, however, as Nick Hagadone and Josh Judy combined to let four inherited runners score. "We had a rough time putting up zeroes tonight on the board," Acta said. "Usually if the other club scores five out of eight tries, that's going to cost you." After the sixth inning, the Rangers held a commanding 8-3 lead, and Acta decided to give newly minted Major Leaguer Zach Putnam, called up on Tuesday, his first action in the Majors. Adrian Beltre, Putnam's first batter, gave him a rude welcome by smashing a 2-2 pitch 418 feet for the first earned run of his career. "[Putnam] bounced back, threw the ball well, threw some split-fingers," Acta said. "He made a comeback -- rude awakening by Beltre and those guys -- but he's got a good arm and he's going to get innings here for us to take a look at them." All of this obscured a memorable performance from Carlos Santana. The 25-year-old had his first multi-homer game, hitting solo home runs in the fourth and eighth innings. Santana became the first Indians hitter since Victor Martinez on June 1, 2007, to homer from each side of the plate in the same game, and just the seventh in team history to accomplish the feat. "Other than the batting average, I think it's been a year for him to learn and make adjustments at this level," Acta said. "How can you complain with probably 25 or more [home runs], he's probably going to set the record for switch-hitters for the Cleveland Indians and over 80 RBIs? The batting average, I'm sure that's going to come along. He done a lot of good things for us." Santana was nicked by a foul ball off his shin in the seventh and spent a minute on the ground, but showed no ill effects, hitting a double later in the at-bat. Acta said after the game that Santana would be in the lineup playing first base on Wednesday.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.