video thumbnail

CIN@CLE: Tomlin solid in 6 2/3 frames of one-run ball

Josh Tomlin is plenty familiar with the Yankees. The Indians right-hander earned his first career win against the Bronx Bombers in 2010, and he has faced them three times in his young career, going 2-1.

Tomlin will try to continue his modest success against the Yankees when he takes the mound in the Tribe's series opener at Yankee Stadium on Monday night. It will be the first meeting between the two teams this season.

Tomlin has been inconsistent since he came back from a right forearm injury on May 28. He got knocked around for six runs on 10 hits two starts ago at Cincinnati but rebounded with a solid effort when the Reds visited Cleveland last week. Tomlin allowed only one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, but without much support, he took a no-decision.

Still, Tomlin knew the quality start was a big step forward.

"It was important because I have to locate my pitches," Tomlin said after the game. "That's the biggest thing for me; that way, I can go deep into games. I was able to establish the inside part of the plate, and after that, it was just locating the offspeed stuff for strikes."

Tomlin is 3-4 with a 5.12 ERA in 10 starts this season.

The Indians will look to get their offense back on track against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who will be facing Cleveland for the first time in his career. The Indians scored only four runs in three games against Houston over the weekend, dropping two out of three.

Kuroda is 3-1 in his last five starts, his lone loss coming his last time out, against the Braves. Kuroda allowed four runs over seven innings in that outing, snapping a stretch of four consecutive quality starts.

"I really didn't want to give up that last run," Kuroda said through an interpreter after the game. "If I kept it within three runs, I knew the offense was going to do its job. I really regret giving up that run."

Kuroda is 6-7 with a 3.57 ERA on the season. Yankees starting pitchers are 12-4 in June.

Indians: Kotchman coming around at plate
• The Indians signed first baseman Casey Kotchman during the offseason mainly to help shore up their infield defense. But they also hoped Kotchman could put up the same offensive numbers he posted for the Rays last season, when he hit .306 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs.

While Kotchman struggled at the plate to begin the season -- he was hitting just .186 as late as May 13 -- he's starting to become a regular run producer at the bottom of the lineup.

Kotchman is hitting .300 (15-for-50) with three home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 16 games. His overall average is up to .230, and he's got six homers and 27 RBIs on the season.

Kotchman said he feels more comfortable at the plate than he did earlier in the year, but he also credited his teammates for his recent production.

"The RBIs end up being a byproduct of the guys in front of you getting on base," Kotchman said recently. "[Michael] Brantley's been on so much the past month with all the doubles he's been hitting. When you come up with guys on base, you want to make the most of it."

• Reliever Nick Hagadone continued his recent struggles on Sunday. He has allowed nine earned runs in his last four appearances (three innings), including three runs in only two-thirds of a inning on Sunday. Hagadone has a 5.96 ERA this season.

Yankees: Swisher reaches milestone
• Nick Swisher recorded his 1,000th career hit with a seventh-inning double in the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Mets on Saturday. The hit was part of a four-run rally that gave the Yankees a lead they would keep.

Swisher stayed hot in Sunday night's 6-5 win, crushing a three-run homer off Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Swisher is 13-for-31 (.419) with two home runs and eight RBIs in his last nine games.

• Catcher Russell Martin is expected to return to the starting lineup on Monday after missing Sunday's game with stiffness in his lower back. Chris Stewart started in Martin's place on Sunday.

"I know that it's not severe; I know that," Martin said. "If I'm in the lineup, I'll be ready to play."

Worth noting
• Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Sunday, ending his six-game hitting streak. Choo had struck out only three times in his previous five games.

• The Yankees went 4-3 against the Indians last season, including 3-1 in the Bronx.

• Indians outfielder Shelley Duncan went 0-for-2 on Sunday and is hitless in his last 11 at-bats over six games. Duncan is just 4-for-26 (.154) in June.

MLB.com Comments