Chris Perez came off the disabled list yesterday after missing a month with a strained shoulder and manager Terry Francona wasted no time announcing that he’ll immediately resume closing for the Indians.
Perez struggled quite a bit before being shut down with the injury and fill-in Vinnie Pestano converted all five saves opportunities in his absence while posting a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings.
Also of note regarding Perez’s return from the DL, via Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Before the game, Perez told a team official that he would talk to reporters, but only if two reporters were excluded from the interview. It did not appear Perez talked to reporters before the game.
While he was on the shelf Perez and his wife were arrested for allegedly having marijuana delivered to their house under their dog’s name, which is no doubt why Perez is trying to dictate the terms of his media engagement. Maybe all the Indians beat writers ought to ask to interview Perez’s dog.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.