Indians closer Chris Perez left today’s game against the Red Sox due to shoulder pain. The right-hander recorded only two outs but was on the hook for the four runs the Red Sox scored in the bottom half of the ninth inning for the walk-off 6-5 victory. Perez allowed two hits (a David Ortiz double and a Stephen Drew single) and walked three.
Joe Smith came on in relief of Perez but promptly allowed a walk-off two-run double to Jacoby Ellsbury. Despite the poor result, Smith is likely the club’s answer for an interim closer. In another time, it would have been Vinnie Pestano, but he has not had a good 2013 season thanks in part to a stark decline in velocity.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.