Rotation is unsteady heading into tough stretch

The Indians starting rotation must feel like they are on a rollercoaster lately.

After losing two of three games in Houston to start their current road trip, the Indians were in New York on Monday for the start of a three-game series with the Yankees. Cleveland's 7-1 Indians loss Monday in the Bronx was the first of 14 consecutive games, without an off day, that will take the Indians into the All-Star break.

It's a crucial part of the schedule, because the teams the Indians will play are all postseason contenders.

After playing three games in New York, Cleveland will play four games in Baltimore.

The Indians will then come home to play three games against the Angels and four against Tampa Bay, which will take them into the All-Star break.

Those are four quality opponents and 14 difficult games for the Indians, who enter the stretch with their rotation in a bit of disarray.

Prior to Monday's game, the Indians announced they had optioned right-hander Jeanmar Gomez to Class AAA Columbus. Gomez's last six starts were horrible, as he went 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA. His turn in the rotation comes up again Thursday, and the Indians will recall right-hander Zach McAllister from Columbus to start that game in Gomez's rotation spot.

On Monday, right-hander Josh Tomlin had another rocky start, which has to be a cause for concern to Indians officials as well. Tomlin lasted just three innings against the Yankees, giving up six hits, three of them home runs. Tomlin is now 3-5 with a 5.70 ERA.

Fortunately for the Indians, their Nos. 1 and 2 starters, Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, are both pitching better than they have all year. The other starter, Derek Lowe, has been slumping. He is 1-3 with a 6.44 ERA in five starts during June.

Heading into the critical 14-game span, the Indians can only feel good about two of the five spots in their rotation.


Gomez gets sent down; McAllister will start Thursday

--RHP Jeanmar Gomez, who was 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA in his past six starts, was optioned to Class AAA Columbus. In 14 appearances overall, he was 4-7 with a 5.18 ERA.

--LHP Scott Barnes was recalled from Class AAA Columbus to fill the roster vacancy created when RHP Jeanmar Gomez was optioned to Columbus. Barnes, who had a 10.38 ERA in four appearances with the Indians earlier this season, was 0-2 with a 3.73 ERA in 14 appearances for Columbus.

--RHP Zach McAllister will be recalled from Class AAA Columbus on Thursday, and he will start that night at Baltimore, manager Manny Acta said. McAllister will take the rotation spot of RHP Jeanmar Gomez, who was optioned to Columbus on Monday. McAllister, who was 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA in four starts with the Indians earlier this season, is 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 11 starts for Columbus.

--RHP Josh Tomlin had another rough outing Monday in New York. Tomlin gave up six runs on six hits, three of them home runs, in just three innings in the Indians' 7-1 loss to the Yankees. "He just didn't have it. You could see that from the get go," manager Manny Acta said. Tomlin is 3-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts). In his past six starts, Tomlin has a 6.82 ERA.

--RHP Esmil Rogers has been impressive in six appearances since being acquired from Colorado. Rogers had an 8.06 ERA in 23 appearances with the Rockies. In six appearances with the Indians, Rogers has a 2.45 ERA.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Total number of runs scored by the Indians in their last three games, all of them losses. They have been outscored 22-3 in that span.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This is the wrong place to pitch behind in the count. Wrong place, wrong team." -- Manager Manny Acta, on RHP Josh Tomlin, who lasted just three innings and gave up six runs on six hits, three of them home runs, in a 7-1 loss at Yankee Stadium.



--DH Travis Hafner (sore right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 24. He had surgery May 31 to repair a frayed meniscus. He took batting practice June 19, but the timetable for his return was uncertain.

--LHP Rafael Perez (strained left lat muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 26. He was cleared to resume a throwing program in mid-June.

--OF Grady Sizemore (back surgery in March 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He was cleared to begin baseball activities in late April and took live batting practice May 16. His rehab was slowed again in early June, and there was no timetable for his return.

--RHP Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery in September 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26. He is expected to throw off a bullpen mound in New York in late June. The timetable for his return to game action remains unknown.