Josh Tomlin

Indians again edge Reds behind Josh Tomlin, Travis Buck

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The Indians were 28-47 after 75 games last season.  To match that record in 2011, they’d have to lose 32 in a row.

Cleveland again topped Cincinnati by a run Saturday, winning 2-1, and will get a chance to go for a sweep in the battle of Ohio behind Carlos Carrasco on Sunday.

Impressive again was Josh Tomlin, who is now 9-for-9 in turning in quality starts after allowing one run over seven innings.  He has an incredible 0.82 WHIP in 59 2/3 innings.  Cliff Lee had the game’s best WHIP last year at barely over 1.00 — he allowed 213 hits+walks in 212 1/3 innings.  Tomlin has allowed 39 hits and 10 walks so far this year.

Travis Buck was the offensive hero for Cleveland.  The Indians need someone to step up in the DH slot with Travis Hafner down, and candidates Buck, Shelley Duncan and Austin Kearns had combined for one homer in 155 at-bats this season before Buck took Homer Bailey deep to give the Indians their only two runs today.

With the victory, the Indians moved to 28-15 this season.  No other AL team has fewer than 20 losses.

The Reds dropped to 25-21 by losing their fourth in a row and fell 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.