The beginning of the 2017 season was not what Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin had in mind, but after struggles throughout his first two outings, he rebounded well in Tuesday’s 11-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Tomlin reversed the struggles of his first two starts by working around seven hits and allowing only three earned runs with no walks against two strikeouts over six innings of work for the Indians (7-7).
“It was good because I haven’t been in a game long enough to get a rhythm in the past couple starts, so it was nice to be out there and feel the flow of the game a little bit, get up and down more than a couple times, just try to get back to competing and going as deep as I can into the game,” Tomlin said.
After the Indians plated three runs in the top of the first inning, the Twins got right back into the game when they scored two off of Tomlin.
Second baseman Brian Dozier led off the frame with an infield single and moved over to second base on a throwing error charged to Jose Ramirez. Then, first baseman Joe Mauer singled to center field and moved Dozier over to third base.
Right fielder Max Kepler lifted an RBI sacrifice fly to left field, and designated hitter Robbie Grossman brought around Mauer with a double to deep right.
Tomlin settled in and pitched to the minimum of six hitters over the next two innings.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Tomlin worked around three hits from the middle of the order and stranded a pair of Twins runners after surrendering a run.
“I think the amount of mistakes was limited,” Tomlin said. “I was able to throw purposeful balls, meaningful balls off the plate, keep guys off the barrel for the most part. I didn’t miss too many times over the middle of the plate. There were some balls that kind of caught the plate, and they got hit pretty hard, but for the most part, I felt like there were more around the edges and there was a good mix of pitches.”
Although Tomlin found success against the Twins, he is focusing on what needs to be done over the next four days to prepare for his next outing in an effort to help the Indians in the best way possible.
“I think you just take every start as it is,” Tomlin said. “Whether it’s nine shutout or you give up six in an inning-and-two-thirds, you take it as it is and you move on the next day. The next day, it’s time to go to work on the next one, get prepared for the next start.
“You can’t sit there and think about starts. You can’t get too high on the good ones and too low on the bad ones. You’ve just got to stay even keel as long as you can, focus on one pitch at a time, one game at a time and go from there.”
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