NEW YORK -- Shawn Morimando's career won't be defined by what happened on Friday at Yankee Stadium, Indians manager Terry Francona assured. Still, the left-hander, who allowed four earned runs in the Indians' 13-7 loss to the Yankees, was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Saturday. Left-hander TJ House was called up from Columbus in a corresponding roster move.
The move is intended to provide Cleveland with more depth in the bullpen amidst a disappointing stretch by its starting rotation. Josh Tomlin lasted just 4 2/3 innings in the series opener, forcing the Indians to further stretch out their bullpen.
"We've had five starters from which we haven't gotten much length," Francona said. "We talk all the time about preserving the bullpen. This is one way to do it. We've kind of taken that last spot and are revolving it a little bit."
The plan was for Morimando, who was called up to the Major League roster earlier in the day on Friday, to throw 50-55 pitches. He retired Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury to begin the sixth, but eventually allowed an RBI single to Chase Headley before walking in another run during that inning. Morimando returned to the mound in the seventh and gave up another pair of runs without recording an out.
"First couple hitters, man, it was nice and crisp," Francona said. "Then, he lost his release point."
Morimando threw 45 pitches, forcing the Tribe to turn to Kyle Crockett to finish off the seventh and eighth. The left-hander threw 35 pitches and allowed two more earned runs.
Francona said House hasn't pitched in a couple of days and provides another fresh arm. He made four appearances for the Indians in July, allowing one earned run over 2 2/3 innings. Of course, Francona would much rather his starting rotation turn things around.
"It's nicer to have a lead and try to win it," Francona said.
Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.