The right-hander looks to become the second Cleveland pitcher in as many days to start 4-0 when he faces the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Justin Masterson(notes) allowed two runs over six innings to win his fourth straight start to open the season in Wednesday’s 7-5 victory over Kansas City. A victory by Tomlin (3-0, 2.75 ERA) in the finale of this four-game set would mark the fourth time since 1920 that at least two Indians pitchers won their first four starts in the same season.
Tomlin, who won the only open spot in Cleveland’s rotation during spring training after going 6-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 2010, has allowed six runs and 12 hits in 19 2-3 innings.
He gave up a pair of solo homers in six innings of an 8-3 win over Baltimore on Saturday.
“He doesn’t let the game speed up on him,” manager Manny Acta told the Indians’ official website. “He’s very good at damage control when he gets in those types of situations. That’s the difference between him and some other guys.”
Tomlin is 2-1 with a 5.68 ERA against the Royals. The loss came in his only appearance at Kauffman Stadium, where he allowed six runs in five innings Sept. 19.
Tied with Colorado for the best record in the majors, Cleveland (13-5) overcame a 2-0 deficit Wednesday to win for the fifth time in six games. The Indians, who have an early two-game lead over second-place Kansas City (11-7) in an AL Central that appears upside down, have averaged 6.3 runs during that stretch.
Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) and Travis Hafner(notes) each had two hits Wednesday while Jack Hannahan(notes) drove in two runs as Cleveland scored four times in the sixth inning to improve to 6-3 on the road.
“We definitely have the talent,” Masterson said. “We’re going to keep fighting. It’s a long season but I think we’ve got a lot going for us.”
The right-hander went 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts against the Indians last season.