SCOTTSDALE - Cleveland's Justin Masterson threw four no-hit innings and Lonnie Chisenhall hit his first home run of spring training in the Indians' 7-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
Arizona starter Trevor Cahill left the game after jamming his right knee covering first base on a groundout with two outs in the fifth inning. Cahill is scheduled to start the second of the Diamondbacks' two-game season-opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia on March 23.
After the game, to no one's surprise, manager Terry Francona said Masterson would be the Indians' opening-day starter.
" I think it's a big honor for him," Francona said. "I think it's an honor for us to tell him, and I think he's very deserving."
Masterson faced the minimum 12 batters, thanks to three Cleveland double plays, two on throws from right fielder Jeff Francoeur.
"There were a lot of close pitches that I was happy with," he said. "I was around the zone. I got behind in the count once in a while but I had some great plays behind me."
Cahill had a shaky outing, allowing five runs on nine hits in 4 2-3 innings, including Chisenhall's two-run homer in the fourth.
He was hurt as he landed on the bag covering first, falling to the ground while trainers attended to him
"I didn't hear a pop so I knew it probably wasn't too bad," Cahill said. "It felt like a really bad cramp. I was just kind of scared at first. And it settled down and started releasing. I felt like, OK, it shouldn't be anything serious. It just went away pretty quick, so I was fortunate."
Indians: Masterson struck out one, walked one and hit two batters in his most impressive outing yet in a strong spring. He has not allowed a run and given up just four hits in eight innings.
"I thought our opening-day starter looked pretty good," Francona said. "He's ramping it up. He's getting his foundation. He's getting deeper and deeper and he'll continue to do so. He's got good movement on his two-seamer. He'll ramp up his fastball when he wants to and he's working on getting that breaking ball in season form. That's what a good pro does."
Diamondbacks: Cahill gave up four runs after allowing six runs on eight hits in three innings against Oakland last Thursday.
He thought this outing was better, until he got hurt.
"Still kind of catching too much of the plate," Cahill said. "I feel like I'm able to do what I want as far as throwing it. Last year I felt like my fastball command wasn't really there. I feel like it's really close right now. I'm missing more on the plate than off the plate. I guess I'd rather have it like that than walking guys."
Cahill is scheduled to make one more spring training start, on Sunday, just before the team leaves for Australia.
Although he said there was nothing new to report on talks over a contract extension, Masterson hinted that he expects progress in talks soon.
Masterson noted that owner Ted Dolan has been out of town.
As for the talks, Masterson said, `They're working through it."