CLEVELAND — Doctors believe Yan Gomes sustained a mild concussion Thursday, but the Indians aren’t planning to put the catcher on the seven-day concussion list yet.
“He’s feeling a lot better,” manager Terry Francona said of Gomes, who sustained the injury in the fifth inning of a 4-1 loss in the series finale at Minnesota. “We’re going to probably go day-to-day. If we ran into a problem, Carlos (Santana) could finish the game (for Roberto Perez), and then we would obviously do something.
“We’ll check Gomer each day and if he’s getting better as fast as it looks like he’s going to, we’ll try to not have him go all seven (days).”
Perez will start in Gomes’ place, with Santana serving as the emergency backup. Gomes, one of Cleveland’s top offensive producers, was not certain when he would return to the lineup. He was hit on the mask by a pitch from Corey Kluber that deflected off Kurt Suzuki’s arm.
“They’re just gonna put me through protocol, but it’s definitely feeling better — that’s a good sign,” said Gomes, who is batting .284 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 109 games. “I’ve never had this kind of stuff happen. I’m kinda just going through protocol and there’s really no timetable or anything yet.
But the good sign is that I definitely came back feeling better today.”
Kluber (13-7, 2.46 ERA) wasn’t his dominant self Thursday, allowing three earned runs on six hits and four walks over seven innings.
Pitching coach Mickey Callaway knew something was up before the game even began.
“Mickey said coming out of the bullpen (Kluber) was fighting his mechanics a little bit,” Francona said. “It just wasn’t quite Kluber-esque. Saying that, he gets to seven innings and gives up a ground ball down the third-base line for the last two runs. If that’s the worst of Corey, we’re in pretty good shape.”
Kluber, who is one three big league pitchers to record 200 strikeouts this season, had allowed two runs or fewer in 11 of his last 12 outings prior to Thursday.
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall entered Friday hitting just .193 since June 13 (last 54 games). He was batting .286 with 11 homers and 46 RBIs in 107 games.
“He’s just not getting to some balls that he was earlier,” Francona said of Chisenhall, who has just four hits over his last 12 games through Thursday and has struck out 12 times. “Some of that could be some fatigue. This is a tough league. When you’re not feeling great at the plate, pitchers will make you wear it, and that’s kind of what he’s going through.”
Turning it around
Francona was asked the key to Carlos Carrasco’s success since a slow start to the season cost the right-hander his spot in the rotation.
“I’d say going to the bullpen, pitching-wise, he got his confidence,” Francona said. “When he went back to starting, he didn’t do anything different. I think he feels situated where he knows he just has to pitch. He’s just going as hard and as long as he can. He’s done a really good job.”
Carrasco’s ERA stood at 6.95 April 25 after four starts to begin the season. Prior to his start Friday, it had dropped to 3.27 — following a lengthy stint as a reliever and two quality outings since his return to the rotation.
“His ERA had climbed pretty high in those first (four) starts,” Francona said. “To lower his ERA the way he did out of the bullpen was amazing, and he’s been good in those first two starts.”
- Zach Walters hit four home runs and drove in six runs in his first nine games after joining the Indians.
- The Indians entered Friday with the fourth-best home record (37-24, .607) in the majors. On only two occasions since 2000 — playoff seasons in 2007 and last year — has Cleveland finished with a home record above .600.