Josh Tomlin strives to continue his unforeseen torrid start when the Cleveland Indians close a four-game series against the host Seattle Mariners on Thursday. Tomlin has compiled eight wins — tied for second in the American League — while already posting the second-highest victory total in his seven-year career.
Tomlin was named the No. 5 starter out of spring training but his strong season has him in the running for an American League All-Star team spot. He missed most of the 2015 season due to April shoulder surgery but returned in mid-August and finished strong by going 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 starts. Seattle has won the past two games after dropping the series opener and catcher Chris Iannetta hit two homers and drove in four runs in Wednesday’s 5-0 victory to improve to 7-for-12 over his past four games. “I wasn’t getting results for a while,” Iannetta said in a postgame interview after his second career multi-homer game, the other coming in 2011 with the Colorado Rockies. “I was just missing balls. It is part of the game. It’s tough to go through.”
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), ROOT (Seattle)
Indians – C Y. Gomes (Questionable Thursday, groin), LF M. Brantley (15-Day DL, shoulder).
Mariners – CF L. Martin (Out Thursday, hamstring), RP T. Zych (15-Day DL, shoulder), RP C. Furbush (15-Day DL, shoulder).
WEATHER REPORT: There is a 50 percent chance of rain this evening in Seattle where the Mariners will host the Cleveland Indians – good thing Safeco Field has a roof. It’ll be a perfect evening for baseball underneath the giant steel rain-blocker.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Josh Tomlin (8-1, 3.54 ERA) vs. Mariners RH Nathan Karns (5-2, 4.23)
Tomlin knocked off the Kansas City Royals in his last outing when he gave up one run and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. His impeccable control has been on display with seven walks in 61 innings and has helped him allow two or fewer runs in six of his 10 starts. Tomlin is 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners but has struggled to retire Kyle Seager (5-for-9, four doubles) and Robinson Cano (5-for-14, one homer).
Karns is coming off his worst start of the season as he was pounded for seven runs and eight hits in four innings while losing to Texas on Saturday. The rough outing also included a season-worst five walks as his five-game winning streak reached an end. Karns is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three career starts against Cleveland with the loss occurring April 21 when he gave up five runs (four earned) and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
* Indians are 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
* Indians are 17-4 in Tomlins last 21 starts.
* Mariners are 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
* Mariners are 8-2 in Karns’ last 10 starts.
* Under is 5-0-1 in Indians last 6 overall.
* Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Early returns on Covers Consensus for this matchup are showing a 50/50 split on moneyline wagers and 52 percent of the picks on the total are on the Under. View full consensus data here.