November 26, 2014

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Indians: Josh Tomlin pitches strong five innings in tie with White Sox

Josh Tomlin pitches against the Chicago White Sox Friday in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Josh Tomlin pitches against the Chicago White Sox Friday in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin went five innings, his longest outing of the spring, in a 2-2 tie with the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

He gave up four hits, including back-to-back homers by Conor Gillaspie and Josh Phegley with two outs in the fifth.

The game was called after nine innings.

David Cooper doubled and scored the Indians’ first run in the seventh, and drove in the tying run in the eighth with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly against Daniel Webb.

Gillaspie, acquired by the White Sox last spring from the San Francisco Giants, took over at third base last year. The former first-round pick hit 13 homers, though he ended the season with a .245 average after batting .311 in April.

Chicago’s Dylan Axelrod, making his first start of the spring, pitched three innings. He walked two, gave up two hits and walked none.

Tomlin walked nobody and struck out five in throwing 66 pitches. He retired the first eight batters before Phegley doubled. He was so efficient that he went back to the bullpen and threw 10 more pitches.

“I felt great,” Tomlin said. “I felt like I was locating the ball well — fastball, cutter, change-up and curve. That was the main thing we wanted to execute today.”

Tomlin had elbow surgery in 2012 and didn’t pitch last year until August. He made a couple of appearances with the major league club in September. His arm is in good shape now, he said.

Manager Terry Francona was also pleased with Tomlin’s overall performance.

“His fastball was sharp, the breaking ball probably has a little bit more power to it than maybe in the past, which is a testament to his work ethic,” Francona said. “Coming back from surgery and having a better breaking ball. He did really well.”