(PEORIA, Ariz) – Jason Kipnis belted a solo-home run and Justin Masterson pitched well in his final Cactus League exhibition start, but the San Diego Padres came back to beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Thursday afternoon.
Kipnis, who has struggled this spring hitting just .170, ripped a solo-homer in the fifth inning to give the Tribe a 3-1 lead. The Indians second baseman may be finding his stroke however, over the past three spring training games he’s hit .364 with four RBIs.
Masterson was certainly the bright spot on Thursday afternoon. The Indians Opening Day starter went five solid innings allowing six hits and two runs, while striking out seven and only allowing one walk. After his outing the big right-hander said he feels ready for the regular season to get started.
The Indians lost on Thursday afternoon 6-4 to the San Diego Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex. Photo courtesy Nick Camino
The Padres climbed back into the game during the seventh inning when they ripped a pair of two-run homers off of Indians closer Chris Perez to make it 6-3. Perez, who was appearing in just his second Cactus League game since Feb. 26, will be ready for Opening Day. The right-hander missed nearly four weeks of spring camp with a shoulder strain.
Indians right fielder Drew Stubbs got Cleveland on the board early ripping a two-run single in the top of the fourth inning off Padres hurler Clayton Richard to make it 2-1. Kipnis homered the following inning.
The loss dropped the Tribe’s Cactus League spring training record to 16-14-2.
The Indians open the 2013 season on April 2 in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
- Nick Camino