CLEVELAND -- Rather than heading to the clubhouse after being pulled from the game in the second inning, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin stayed in the dugout for the remainder of the evening.
Tomlin allowed eight hits, including two home runs, and seven runs, all earned, over just 1.2 innings of work in the 10-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox (4-4) at Progressive Field Thursday night, which was the Indians’ (4-5) fifth setback in their last six games.
“The other players had to do it. Why not me?” Tomlin said.
In the top of the first inning, Tomlin allowed four straight two-out hits and the White Sox scored five times. Then, Tomlin surrendered another two runs in the top of the second inning and was pulled from the game.
Shortstop Tim Anderson led off the game with a home run on the first pitch.
After left fielder Melky Cabrera was erased by a fielder’s choice following a single to left field, right fielder Avisail Garcia smacked a single to left field. Then, third baseman Matt Davidson swung on the first pitch from Tomlin and blasted a three-run home run over the wall in right field.
Second baseman Yolmer Sanchez followed with a double to right field, and came around to score when catcher Omar Narvaez hit an RBI single to shallow left field.
Although the Indians responded with a run on a sacrifice fly from second baseman Jose Ramirez in the bottom of the first inning, the White Sox went right back to work in the top of the second.
Cabrera drew a one-out walk and first baseman Jose Abreu followed with a single to left field. After both runners moved into scoring position on designated hitter Cody Asche’s fly out to center field, Avisail Garcia sent a two-run single to center field.
“It wasn’t any trouble gripping the ball,” Tomlin said. “It was just the mistakes that I made, they didn’t miss them.”
Coupled with Thursday’s loss, Tomlin has allowed 15 hits, 13 earned runs and two home runs over just 6.1 innings of work in two starts.
Although the beginning to the 2017 season has been a rough one, Tomlin is no stranger to struggles, or how to recover from them.
In six August starts last season, Tomlin posted an 0-5 record with an 11.48 earned run average. Despite striking out 21 hitters against just six walks allowed over 26.2 innings of work, Tomlin surrendered 46 hits, including a team-high 10 home runs, as well as 35 runs, 34 of which were earned.
Tomlin made it out of the fifth inning in just one of those six starts. However, the veteran right-hander seemed to find his rhythm in the nick of time.
After being reinserted into the starting rotation following a rash of injuries, Tomlin won two of his four starts and had one no-decision over 25.2 innings of work against the Royals and White Sox last September. Tomlin allowed just five earned runs, one home run and no walks with 10 strikeouts over those four starts.
Then, in the postseason, Tomlin went 2-1 over four starts.
“As soon as I leave here tonight, it’s back to work tomorrow, figuring out what I need to do to get better,” Tomlin said. “The day after that is throwing a bullpen and try to iron those things out and be a fighter next time.
“I’m not a guy that’s going to overpower anybody by any means, so I’ve got to be fine on the edges, throw balls out of the zone when I need to and that’s just not happening right now. I’ve got to get back to work, try to figure that stuff out and try to do better.”
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