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06/29/11 5:30 PM ET

Nagy happy for former pupil Tomlin

PHOENIX -- D-backs pitching coach Charles Nagy can only wonder what the future holds for Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin.

"He's one of those kids that's a great story," Nagy said. "He just goes out, pitches, and he's very good at what he does. And he showed that [on Tuesday] night."

Last season, Nagy was Tomlin's pitching coach at Triple-A Columbus when, while working out of the bullpen, the Clippers needed a starter in a pinch.

"Boom," Nagy said. "We needed somebody to start games, he did and just took off from there. Got called up, and just kind of seized the opportunity."

A year later, Nagy watched Tomlin throw seven innings of two-run baseball in a no-decision.

  • 131 wins
  • 121 wins

"He works hard, and I'm very happy for him," Nagy said.

The 26-year-old right-hander credits Nagy for improving his mental approach on the mound.

"He's been here before," Tomlin said. "He's played a lot of games in the big leagues. So he just kind of told me what to expect if I ever got the opportunity, and taught me how to slow the game down."

Tomlin is 9-4 with a 3.86 ERA this season.

"We had a good relationship, and he taught me a lot," Tomlin said. "I respect him a lot. He's a good guy."

Tribe's Tomlin equals record

PHOENIX -- He's just doing his job.

That's the way Indians starter Josh Tomlin looks at it, after becoming only the second pitcher since 1920 on Tuesday night to throw at least five innings in each of his first 28 appearances in the big leagues.

"That's what I'm paid to do," he said. "To go as deep as I can in the game. So for me, however many starts in a row it is, I've done my job."

Tomlin joined injured Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka (2007) in accomplishing the feat.

And doing his job is just fine for Indians manager Manny Acta.

"I know what I'm getting from him every five days," Acta said. "It's a beauty, throwing those first-pitch strikes. He's like a little cowboy out there, throwing at 88 mph and mixing it up. ... It's good to see that in the game."

Acta compared him to former Minor League teammate Donne Wall, who pitched eight seasons in the big leagues.

"Those are the guys that have to continue to beat the odds," Acta said.

Tomlin has impressive night with his bat

PHOENIX -- Josh Tomlin didn't know what to expect.

The Indians' starter stepped into the box for his first career at-bat on Tuesday night against D-backs right-hander Daniel Hudson, failed at dropping a textbook sacrifice bunt down but succeeded at moving the runner up.

"I actually hit it too hard, but it ended up being a hit," he said of the roller that found its way into no-man's land between the pitcher and third baseman Ryan Roberts.

"I got the best in both ways: I got the guy over and it ended up being a hit."

The hit was the first by an Indians pitcher since CC Sabathia hit a home run at Dodger Stadium on June 21, 2008.

In his next at-bat, Tomlin singled up the middle and drove in his first career run.

"The ball looked like a marble," he said. "The first couple pitches he threw, I couldn't see it. So I was just going by sounds."

Tomlin said he was a decent hitter before becoming a full-time pitcher, but that hitting at the Major League level is a different story.

"It looks smaller, they throw a lot harder, it's more deceptive and not easy to pick up at all," he said.

Worth noting

• Outfielder Michael Brantley snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a second-inning single off Zach Duke on Wednesday.

"It's just the ups and downs of the season," Indians manager Manny Acta said of the slump. "He just got three hits the other day (Saturday) after a day off."

• Grady Sizemore was held out of Wednesday's lineup after crashing into the wall on a fifth-inning triple by D-backs left-fielder Gerardo Parra on Tuesday night. Sizemore was checked my trainers, but stayed in the game.

"It's foolish for any one of us to think that he's 100 percent," Acta said. "And you guys know him more than me. Unless he's half-dead, he wants to be out there and will be out there."

Anthony Fenech is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.