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TEX@CLE: House fans seven over five scoreless frames

The Reds will try to reclaim the Ohio Cup for the first time since 2010 on Thursday at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati took the third game of the home-and-home four-game series Wednesday night. The Indians will need a win to maintain possession of the trophy.

Cleveland will rely on T.J. House, who will start Thursday night's finale. The 24-year-old lefty is coming off the first scoreless start of his career, which began this season when he debuted in May.

Tribe manager Terry Francona spoke Wednesday about the progress his young southpaw has made.

"I think T.J. has done a really good job on a couple different fronts," Francona said. "One, for a young pitcher, I think he's really improving handling adversity on the mound, which I think is also carrying over to handling coming up and down. I hope we've explained it to him properly, where he understands that we may not be a team that's just going to run five starters out there. We've had some youth, we've had some guys that have been a little inconsistent, so it may take us seven starters. We may have to tweak our bullpen from time to time, but we're trying to win."

The Reds will counter with Homer Bailey, who is looking for his first win since June 29. Bailey has received four consecutive no-decisions.

Over that stretch, though, and beyond it, Bailey has pitched brilliantly. In his last six outings, he has a 1.88 ERA, and he's lowered his season ERA by almost a full run in that span.

Last time out, against the Marlins, Bailey allowed one run in seven innings in a 2-1 loss in extras.

"I wasn't extremely sharp and I was having trouble finding the umpire's zone. But overall, we got good results," Bailey said of the Miami outing. "It was a very long first inning. We were able to get out of a few jams the first couple of innings."

Indians: Rotation shuffle
Cleveland has opted to move right-hander Josh Tomlin (0-3 with a 7.09 ERA in his last five starts) to the bullpen for the time being, meaning the team will need a starter for Sunday's game in New York. Reliever Carlos Carrasco, who was in the Opening Day rotation, is one option after working four innings (59 pitches) in Tuesday's game against the Reds.

"Once we got into that game [Tuesday] night," Francona said, "for multiple reasons we wanted to stretch Carlos out as much as we could. One, it leaves doors open. The other one was it really kept our bullpen in check. That's something we need to talk about and we will."

Reds: Phillips working way back slowly
The next step in second baseman Brandon Phillips' recovery from thumb surgery will be to swing a bat.

Cincinnati manager Bryan Price was hesitant to proffer a guess of when that might occur Wednesday.

"I couldn't give you even a proximity on when that's going to be," Price said on Wednesday. "But I don't think we're that far away. [Phillips] is going to see his hand doctor here maybe tomorrow, I believe, and I think that will probably go a long way to maybe setting a date or having a better idea on when he might start swinging the bat."

Phillips will need a rehab assignment before returning.

Worth noting
• Homer Bailey is 2-3 with a 6.55 ERA in seven career starts against the Indians. Comments