House remains with Indians

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2014

Despite some solid outings for Cleveland, Picayune’s T.J. House has yet to pick up his first Major League Win.

But his performance has apparently earned him a chance to stay with the Indians for a while.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Tuesday House will remain as the Tribe’s fifth starter for now.

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“If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be here,” Francona said in Los Angeles, where the Indians are facing the Dodgers in a three game set. “We’re not going to keep a guy if he isn’t pitching. We’d go get a reliever.”

House made five starts earlier this season, after joining the team when fellow starter Zach McAllister was placed on the disabled List. When McAllister returned, House was sent back to Triple A, but recalled over the weekend and started Sunday in Seattle against Felix Hernandez.

The Mariners took a 3-0 win, and House took the loss despite allowing just two a two run homer to Robinson Cano in six innings of work.

The Indians started this eight-game trip with a four-man rotation because of off days.

The Indians optioned McAllister to Class AAA Columbus at the start of this trip because they would only need four starters. When Justin Masterson couldn’t start Sunday because of a sore right knee, House was recalled from Columbus to fill in. McAllister could not be recalled unless a player was placed on the disabled list because he hadn’t been in the minors for 10 days.

While the Indians were on this western swing through Phoenix, Seattle and Los Angeles, McAllister and Danny Salazar have been pitching well for the Clippers. McAllister and Salazar both opened the season in the Tribe’s rotation.

McAllister, who started Tuesday night, had won his two previous starts, forging a 1.26 ERA. He struck out 12, walked two and allowed two earned runs on 12 hits in 14 1/3 innings.

Salazar is 1-1 in his last two starts with 2.03 ERA. He’s struck out 16, walked three and allowed 12 hits and three earned runs in 13 1/3 innings. Salazar has thrown over 70 percent of his pitches for strikes in his last two starts.

Asked if Salazar might get another chance to help the Tribe at the big league level this year, Francona said, “Oh, yeah. We like Zach, too. Right now we have five guys pitching. Things happen, they always do, so to have guys who can step in and hopefully win is important.”

House is 0-2 with a 4.45 ERA in seven appearances, including six starts, for the Indians.

“The thing is we’ve got so many options,” Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. “Zach is pitching good again. T.J. has done well. Salazar is going to be able to help us out It’s a good problem to have.”

The Indians are off today before returning home to begin a 10 game home stand that will wrap up the first half of the season and lead into the All-Star break.

Cleveland hosts Kansas City for three games beginning Friday and then hosts the New York Yankees for four games starting Monday. House’s next start could come against either the Royals over the weekend or against the Yankees early next week depending on how Francona handles the off day.