DETROIT -- Josh Tomlin took note of his teammates' recent run of three complete games in four outings. He did his best to deliver one of his own Sunday, but came up just short as he allowed three runs over eight innings in the Indians' 9-3 win over the Tigers.
"It's not that you want to one-up them, but you want to go out there and compete like them and go out there and do your job like them," Tomlin said. "They go out there and do their job, and my job after that is to go out there and do the same thing. So when you see them have a good game, you talk to them, ask them what they did, how they attacked them, and come up with a game plan together."
During the club's nine-game win streak, the Indians' starting rotation is 6-0 with a 1.96 ERA.
Tomlin's three runs all came courtesy of solo homers. After Victor Martinez -- who had two on the day -- tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning, Tomlin looked to be in trouble when he had two men on, facing Mike Aviles an inning after he had gone deep himself.
Tomlin said in that situation, he was trying to stay calm and not do too much.
"I know Mikey, I've played with Mikey before, so I know I kind of know he's aggressive, so I was trying to make him aggressive outside of the zone," Tomlin said. "He put a good swing on it, luckily it just kind of got up in the zone a little bit to where he just flied out to center field."
Tomlin got six runs of support on four fifth-inning home runs, and had relatively smooth sailing from there on out. He said he had to go pitch-by-pitch at that point to make sure he didn't squander the big lead.
"I don't want to go back out there and give the lead back up, or let them get a rally going and next thing you know they kind of feel comfortable about themselves, and maybe one swing of the bat can change the game."
Manager Terry Francona said he was comfortable with having Tomlin on the mound because he knows how to handle a big lead when he gets one.
"He's around the plate so much, he might give up a solo, but he stays off the barrel for the most part," Francona said. "It's a good guy to have pitching on any day, but especially when you get a lead like that."
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Indians on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.