Josh Tomlin has a chance to be part of an achievement that only
three other sets of Cleveland Indians pitchers have accomplished in
more than 90 years.
The right-hander looks to become the second Cleveland pitcher in
as many days to start 4-0 when he faces the Kansas City Royals on
Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Justin Masterson allowed two runs over six innings to win his
fourth straight start to open the season in Wednesday’s 7-5 victory
over Kansas City. A victory by Tomlin (3-0, 2.75 ERA) in the finale
of this four-game set would mark the fourth time since 1920 that at
least two Indians pitchers won their first four starts in the same
After Jim Bagby, Stan Coveleski and Duster Mails did it in 1920,
Mel Harder and Bob Lemon were both 4-0 in 1947. Scott Lewis and
Cliff Lee matched the feat in 2008.
Tomlin, who won the only open spot in Cleveland’s rotation
during spring training after going 6-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 2010, has
allowed six runs and 12 hits in 19 2-3 innings.
He gave up a pair of solo homers in six innings of an 8-3 win
over Baltimore on Saturday.
“He doesn’t let the game speed up on him,” manager Manny Acta
told the Indians’ official website. “He’s very good at damage
control when he gets in those types of situations. That’s the
difference between him and some other guys.”
Tomlin is 2-1 with a 5.68 ERA against the Royals. The loss came
in his only appearance at Kauffman Stadium, where he allowed six
runs in five innings Sept. 19.
Tied with Colorado for the best record in the majors, Cleveland
(13-5) overcame a 2-0 deficit Wednesday to win for the fifth time
in six games. The Indians, who have an early two-game lead over
second-place Kansas City (11-7) in an AL Central that appears
upside down, have averaged 6.3 runs during that stretch.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis Hafner each had two hits Wednesday
while Jack Hannahan drove in two runs as Cleveland scored four
times in the sixth inning to improve to 6-3 on the road.
“We definitely have the talent,” Masterson said. “We’re going to
keep fighting. It’s a long season but I think we’ve got a lot going
Hafner is 9 for 18 in his last six games, but 1 for 5 against
O’Sullivan (1-1, 5.00) will make his second straight start in
place of the injured Vin Mazzaro after giving up five hits in five
innings of a 7-0 victory over Seattle on Saturday.
The right-hander went 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts against
the Indians last season.
Though the Royals have lost three of four, Alex Gordon tripled
Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. He’s batting
.391 with all 14 of his RBIs during that stretch.
Teammate Jeff Francoeur has hit in 10 straight after going 2 for
4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs. He is hitting .395 with two
home runs and 11 RBIs over that span.
Third baseman Wilson Betemit has hit safely in 11 consecutive
games, giving the Royals three players with double-digit hitting
streaks for the first time since May 22, 2001.