(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Indians try to follow up a masterful game by Josh Tomlin on Saturday night as they finish off a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Outside of a lead-off single by Kyle Seager to start the bottom of the fifth yesterday, Tomlin was untouchable. The hurler allowed just that lone hit and struck out 11 as he went the distance for the visitors. Tomlin, now 5-5 on the campaign, joined Len Barker as the only Cleveland hurlers in the past century to have at least 11 strikeouts, no walks and no more than a single hit allowed in a shutout.
"I knew I felt good and I knew I was commanding the ball to both sides of the plate," Tomlin said. "I was on the same page as (catcher Yan Gomes) from the get-go and, the way the defense was playing, it was turning out to be a good night."
Providing offensive support for Tomlin was Gomes, who belted his ninth home run of the season, while Mike Aviles contributed a pair of hits and scored once for a Cleveland squad that is currently two games under .500 and sitting in third place in the AL Central, 6 1/2 games off the pace.
Roenis Elias was charged with the loss as the Seattle starter gave up five runs on six hits and a couple of walks, fanning two in six innings of action.
"The stars just didn't line up for us tonight in a lot of different ways," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "It was pretty ugly for us all the way around. Their guy threw a nice ballgame. It was just one of those days. Quite honestly, we haven't had one of those for quite a while. Every team has 'em and we had one tonight. Move on and get ready for tomorrow."
With the defeat the Mariners have now fallen in two of the last three outings and are 7 1/2 games out of first in the AL West.
The Indians have shaken up the starting rotation a bit and have penciled in T.J. House as the pitcher for this afternoon's battle in Seattle. House, a rookie left-hander from Louisiana, has just six appearances at the major league level to his credit, the most recent of those coming against Boston on June 14 at Fenway Park.
In that contest House gave up just two runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out three, over 5 1/3 innings but he failed to earn a decision even as Cleveland picked up the 3-2 victory.
While the Tribe goes with an inexperienced arm, Seattle opts for former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez. Already within three wins of his entire total from last season when he was just 12-10, Hernandez is coming off his first victory in the last four outings, a 12-3 decision over Boston at home on Monday.
Against the Red Sox, Hernandez permitted just two runs on six hits and struck out six over seven innings of action.
For his career, Hernandez has a record of 6-5 and a 3.25 ERA in 14 all-time appearances versus Cleveland.
Even though it was Cleveland and Tomlin that shut down the Mariners bats, Seattle pitchers have been much more consistent in that area this season and currently rank second in the AL with opponents hitting just .234 against them.
The Mariners lost five of seven games against Cleveland last season.