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CLEVELAND — Josh Tomlin earned his first major league win since 2012, pitching into the seventh inning and leading the Cleveland Indians past the Minnesota Twins 4-2 tonight.
Tomlin (1-0) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. He was called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game after missing most of last year while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Tomlin struck out four, walked one and won for the first time since July 5, 2012, with the Indians. He had his elbow operation the next month.
The right-hander took a two-hit shutout into the seventh before Chris Colabello homered. Tomlin left after a single and a foul out, and received a loud ovation from the small crowd of 9,621. Tomlin threw 93 pitches.
Bryan Shaw pitched the ninth for his first save. Eduardo Escobar’s two-out double cut the lead to two, but pinch-hitter Josmil Pinto popped out.
Samuel Deduno (0-2) allowed four runs in five innings in his first start of the season.
Deduno replaced Mike Pelfrey, who was ineffective in five starts before going on the disabled list with a groin injury, in the Twins’ rotation. Deduno had shoulder surgery in September and made seven relief appearances to begin this season.
The Indians scored twice in the first on an RBI single by Michael Brantley and a fielding error by Colabello at first base.
Yan Gomes’ RBI double and Nick Swisher’s run-scoring single in the second made it 4-0.
Tomlin pitched with a sore right elbow for most of the 2012 season. His last start in the majors came on July 27 when he allowed eight runs in four innings in an 11-0 loss to the Twins.
He made one relief appearance with the Indians last year, pitching two scoreless innings in September.
Tomlin pitched well in spring training, but was sent to Columbus in the team’s final cuts. He was 2-1 in five starts and had pitched 20 consecutive innings when he was recalled. Tomlin was called up after Carlos Carrasco went 0-3 in four starts.
Twins star Joe Mauer missed his second straight game because of lower back spasms. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer’s back has improved, but he doesn’t know when the six-time All-Star will return.
Indians center fielder and leadoff hitter Michael Bourn was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a tight left hamstring, but is optimistic he’ll be able to play again in a couple of days.
NOTES: Indians closer John Axford, who allowed game-winning home runs Sunday and Monday, was given the night off after pitching three straight days. Manager Terry Francona still has confidence in the right-hander. “He’s our closer,” Francona said. “When you start running from guys as opposed to trying to get them back to where they need to be, that can be unsettling for a team.” ... Mauer is a career .342 hitter with nine homers and 60 RBIs against Cleveland.