- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - With injuries and struggles decimating the Cleveland Indians’ starting rotation, Josh Tomlin had been a rock.

That hasn’t been the case the past two starts when Tomlin has failed to get through the fifth inning. For the second consecutive outing, Tomlin allowed seven earned runs, this time in a 7-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

Tomlin (11-5) allowed those runs on eight hits in four-plus innings while striking out four. Jayson Werth crushed a three-run home run in the second inning, and three hits in the fifth ended Tomlin’s outing.

“I’ve been prone to home runs all year, but they come usually when no one’s on base or limited traffic,” Tomlin said. “Right now there’s traffic. It seems like I’m beginning to have to work around guys. I make a mistake, I pay for it.”

It didn’t help Tomlin that right fielder Abraham Almonte appeared to lose a ball in the sun on what turned into Werth’s ground-rule double in the first and had a ball go off his glove for an RBI double by Daniel Murphy in the fifth.

Tomlin accepted blame for giving up hits, but manager Terry Francona would’ve liked to see Almonte make a couple of plays for his pitcher.

“He made some mistakes and paid for it,” Francona said. “The first inning, Abe was fighting the sun, turns into a double, that’s the run. And then on the line drive to right, looked like Abe had it and looked to the wall, hit him in the glove. That would have been first and second with one out as opposed to a full-fledged rally.”

Almonte said the sun was difficult and that he lost control when he got close to the wall.

“You always want to do your best and help the team win and that’s the main goal,” Almonte said. “Some days it’s not obviously what you’re looking for and today was one of those days.?”

The Indians’ offense had its share of success against Washington’s Gio Gonzalez (8-9), including Francisco Lindor’s two-run home run in the third and RBI doubles by Almonte and Jose Ramirez. Ramirez went 3 for 4 with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Francona returned after a health scare caused him to miss the series opener Tuesday. Francona, who has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms, complained of chest pain and had an elevated heart rate but reported feeling better by Wednesday. … Francona said RHP Tommy Hunter threw a simulated game Tuesday and was progressing well from a non-baseball injury.

UNCLE CARRASCO

Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco passed his U.S. citizenship test last week, which was cause for celebration. Carrasco wore an Uncle Sam costume for the flight back to Cleveland, posing with thumbs up for the team’s Twitter account .

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (11-8, 3.22 ERA) starts the series opener back in Cleveland against RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-7, 5.27) and the Los Angeles Angels.

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