The Indians offense has slept through the first two games in Cincinnati, scoring a total of just four runs en route to a pair of defeats. Those losses dropped the Tribe to 32-29 and 1.5 games back of the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox.
Josh Tomlin, 3-3, will take the hill Thursday for Cleveland. Tomlin, 3-3, is coming off his first quality start in a month -- a 7.0-inning, two-run outing against the high-scoring St. Louis Cardinals. But quality start or no, Tomlin struck out just one batter, continuing a recent trend that has seen his strikeout numbers plummet.
Tomlin recorded seven K's in two of his first three starts this season but has reached that mark just once in the five starts since. In his last three outing, Tomlin has eight strikeouts in 18 innings -- one of the reasons he has a 4.96 ERA.
The Reds, who are currently first place in the NL Central, will start Mike Leake, who is 2-5 with an almost identical 4.97 ERA.
Cinci will be in Cleveland next week for another three-game set.
First pitch Thursday is set for 12:35 Eastern.