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Indians place Masterson on DL with injury

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Indians couldn't wait any longer for Justin Masterson to fix his pitching problems.

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The Indians placed Masterson on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right knee Tuesday. Masterson, the team's opening day starter, is 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA.

Manager Terry Francona talked with Masterson on Monday after the right-hander allowed five runs and six hits in two-plus innings against the New York Yankees.

''Masty's first inclination was wanting to pitch through it, which we respect,'' Francona said. ''The way it was going, though, we thought we'd DL him and get him some treatment.''

Masterson has been dealing with a sore knee most of the season. He was pushed back a couple of days earlier this month, but his results haven't improved.

''It's hard to imagine it would help,'' Francona said of the injury. ''I'm not in his body. When a guy's out there competing, I don't think they think about it a lot, but I don't think it helps.''

Masterson was pulled without retiring a batter in the third against New York. He walked three, hit a batter and rarely topped 90 mph in his 54 pitches, throwing only 24 strikes. He has given up 19 runs, 27 hits and 17 walks in 18 innings over his last five starts.

Masterson has pitched more than four innings once in that stretch, which has put a lot of stress on the bullpen.

''Maybe two weeks would be best for him and us because he was exiting early,'' Francona said. ''It's hard to keep doing that and keep the bullpen not only healthy, but productive.''

Masterson made the All-Star team last season when he went 14-10 with three shutouts. He is a free agent after this season. The two sides talked about a contract extension in spring training, but didn't reach an agreement.

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