Cleveland Indians starting pitcher T.J. House, right, talks with catcher George Kottaras. ASSOCIATED PRESS
SEATTLE — T.J. House is the here today, gone tomorrow pitcher.
He arrived in Seattle on Friday, came to Safeco Field on Saturday, and started against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners on Sunday.
Where he'll be in the coming days is anybody's guess, but if he keeps pitching like he did in the Indians' 3-0 loss, it will be in manager Terry Francona's starting rotation. At the very least, he'll be a phone call away at Triple-A Columbus.
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"I don't know a thing," said House when asked about his future. "I just know I had today and I was happy to have that."
House and King Felix were locked in a scoreless game until the sixth inning. Michael Saunders sent a swinging bunt to the first base side of the mound. House fielded the ball, but made a low throw to Nick Swisher at first that turned him inside out.
As Swisher tumbled to the infield dirt, the ball bounced into foul territory and clanged off the grandstand. Saunders rolled into third base.
He was credited with a hit and House charged with an error.
Three pitchers later Robinson Cano sent 2-0 delivery into the right field seats for a 2-0 lead.
It was all Hernandez (10-2, 2.10) and Fernando Rodney needed as they combined a one-hitter.
Seattle added an insurance run in the ninth on Mike Zunino's single off Marc Rzepczynski, but the only insurance the Mariners needed Sunday was the right arms of Hernandez and Rodney. Hernandez struck out nine, walked three, and allowed one hit in 107 pitches. Rodney retired the side in order in the ninth for his 23rd save.
On Saturday, Josh Tomlin threw a one-hitter against the Mariners in a 5-0 victory. The Mariners needed two pitchers to return the favor Sunday. It's the first time consecutive one-hitters have been thrown in the same ballpark since Washington did it at Nationals Park against the Reds on April 25 and April 26, 2013. Gio Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano combined on the one-hitter on April 25 and Jordan Zimmerman did it himself on April 26.
"On a lot of days we're sitting here bragging about T.J.," said Francona. "But because of the way Felix threw any mistakes you makes it really difficult to win that game."
Regarding House's immediate future, the Indians have options. They started this eight-game western swing with a four-man rotation because of off days. It turned into a five-man rotation when House replaced Justin Masterson for Sunday's start. Masterson, who will start Tuesday at Dodgers Stadium, was pushed back because of a sore right knee.
"I think T. J. feels like he belongs here, and he should," said Francona. "He's given us a chance to win everytime he's pitched. All you can do is put up zeroes and he's done a good job. The moment or the game isn't too big for what he's trying to do."
When asked if House will stay in the rotation now that it's back to five starters, Francona said, "We have another off day coming up [Thursday]. We can do whatever we want."
Zach McAllister, who opened the season in the rotation, is available in Columbus as well. He replaced House in the rotation on June 16, but when his scheduled start was rained out and the Indians decided to go with four starters on this trip, McAllister was optioned to Columbus to he could keep pitching.
Lonnie Chisenhall had the Indians’ only hit, a leadoff single in the fifth. Seattle's only hit on Saturday was a leadoff single by Kyle Seager in the fifth as well.
"Felix didn't leave any balls over the middle of the plate," said Chisenhall. "When he coming inside, he's cutting it and when he's going away, he's sinking it. He was using fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball all pretty well. It was a pretty typical day for him."
Chisenhall singled just past Cano's glove at second, but Murphy followed by lining into a double play. Swisher walked, but George Kottaras struck out to end the inning.
Carlos Santana was the only Indian to reach second base. He walked with one out in the seventh and took second on a ground out. Hernandez struck out Murphy to end the inning. Murphy is in a 1-for-42 slump and has gone 32 games without a homer.
House (0-2, 4.54) told reporters Saturday that he was excited to go pitch-for-pitch against Hernandez, who had the yellow-clad King's Court cheering him on from the left field corner.
" I thought I did a good job up until the sixth inning," said House, who allowed two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk in six innings. "I hurt myself there. If that doesn't happen, it's a zero-zero ballgame. We could still be out there playing."
On the throw to first, House said he rushed it.
"I also didn't realize how close I was too the bag," he said. "It probably would have been better to do a little flip there instead of making a throw."
House's locker in the visitor's clubhouse at Safeco Field was between the batboy's locker and the lost-and-found locker.
"That's what happens when you get here late," House said with a smile.