Indians' Justin Masterson Tosses an Immaculate Inning Against the Red Sox

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Indians' Justin Masterson Tosses an Immaculate Inning Against the Red Sox
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Indians pitcher Justin Masterson tossed the first immaculate inning of his career in the fourth inning of Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox. Per ESPN.com, a pitcher must strike out all three batters on just nine pitches in order to get credit for an immaculate inning, one of the rarest single-inning accomplishments in baseball.

According to the complete list on baseball-almanac.com, Masterson's flawless inning was only the 74th occurrence of such a feat in MLB history. Sixty-nine different pitchers have recorded an immaculate inning, with Nolan Ryan the only one to do so in both leagues.

Only four hurlers have tossed multiple immaculate innings, and all four are legends of the game. Ryan, Lefty Grove and Randy Johnson all did it twice, while Sandy Koufax owns a record three immaculate innings.

Masterson was dominant throughout Monday's game, striking out 10 batters over seven scoreless innings to improve his record to 3-4. 

His flawless frame started when Boston's Jonny Gomes took a called first strike, followed by a pair of swinging strikes. 

Former Indian Grady Sizemore also took a first-pitch called strike, then fouled off the second pitch for another strike. He finally struck out swinging on a slider.

Last but not least, recent Red Sox signee Stephen Drew took the first two pitches on called strikes and then succumbed to Masterson's slider for a third strike, just as Gomes and Sizemore did.  

Masterson's immaculate inning can be relived at MLB.com, with the whole frame condensed into a one-minute clip.

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