NILES, Ohio — One of the few places in the Indians organization where T.J. House hadn’t played was Mahoning Valley. That changed on Wednesday as House pitched for the Scrappers against Connecticut.
House pitched five scoreless innings in the Scrappers 4-0 win over the Tigers. He threw 54 pitches, including 35 strikes, and allowed just two hits while striking out four.
"I felt good," House said. "I definitely wanted to work on a couple things, throwing strikes down in the zone, working the inside part of the plate a little bit and spinning a few breaking balls early."
The Indians sent House down on Friday in order to keep him on his normal schedule. The left-hander went back home to Mississippi last weekend for his version of the All-Star Break before getting back to work.
House threw more changeups and curveballs than usual because he has had some trouble in Cleveland keep it down. The Indians wanted House to throw at least 75 pitches so he had a bullpen session after being taken out and threw 20 pitches.
"He’s a big-league pitcher. He was in and out of the zone, changed speeds and kept the ball down," Mahoning Valley manager Ted Kubiak said.
In nine games with Cleveland this season, House is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA. He had a no-decision last Thursday against the Yankees as the Tribe rallied for a 9-3 win. In that game, House went 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks. It was only the second time in eight starts that he had failed to work into the sixth inning.
Cleveland begins the second half on Friday in Detroit. Trevor Bauer will start the series opener and Corey Kluber will work Saturday’s first game of a day/night doubleheader but the rest of the rotation has not been announced. Either Danny Salazar or Zach McAllister would be called up for the nightcap while Josh Tomlin is expected to take the hill on Sunday.
Detroit will counter with Anibal Sanchez on Friday, Max Scherzer in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader and Drew Smyly on Sunday.