CLEVELAND -- The Indians were in the exact situation they wanted. They had a three-run lead in the 10th inning of Sunday's game against the Tigers, and All-Star closer Chris Perez was on the mound.
Perez retired the first two hitters he faced, and he appeared to be headed for his 30th save. But in a heartbeat, everything went awry.
Perez gave up five runs on three hits and two walks in the inning, including a walk-off two-run home run to Miguel Cabrera. What appeared to be a routine save opportunity for Perez turned into the Indians' ninth consecutive loss.
Afterward on Twitter, Perez called the game "the low point of my professional career." Indians manager Manny Acta, though, had only positive things to say about his closer on Monday.
"Chris is one of the best closers in the game," Acta said, "and if there is somebody who can bounce [back] from this, it's him because I've seen him do it, he's got the mentality for it. I saw him, the day before the All-Star break, blow a save here, and then the very next game he saved a 1-0 game in Toronto against three guys that combined had 60 home runs. So he can shake it off.
"He's going to have his failures here and there, but he's one of the best, and he's going to be fine. I hope I have an opportunity to get him back out there today."
Entering Monday, Perez had blown only three saves in 32 opportunities this season. He had a 3.83 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 43 appearances.