"It was good to get the win, but on top of that I kind of got some redemption," Perez said.
The last time the Indians closer pitched at Comerica Park on Aug. 5, it resulted in one of the most brutal losses of the season. Perez entered the game in the bottom of the 10th inning with a three-run lead and recorded two quick outs. However, the Tigers would rally with two walks and three hits, culminating in a walk-off two-run home run by Miguel Cabrera.
The game abruptly went from 8-5 with the Tribe on top to 10-8 with the Tigers celebrating and their fans roaring as Perez slowly walked off the field. He later took to Twitter calling it the "low point" of his career.
"I'll never forget that," said Perez, still able to recount the moment like it was yesterday. "Two outs, nobody on, No. 8 hitter up, up by three and you lose. That's terrible. That's unacceptable, especially the way we were going too. That was our ninth straight loss. I'll always have that in the back of my mind."
Still, with a one-run lead, manager Manny Acta didn't hesitate to call for his closer.
"That was a long time ago," Acta said after the game. "I don't think Chris was thinking about that ... the guy is showing me that he's able to bounce back from stuff like that all the time. He's got the mentality to be the closer."
Perez, who had just returned to the team after missing a few days with his wife giving birth to their second child, didn't miss a beat as he struck out Prince Fielder and Brennan Boesch to start the inning. But when he got two outs, he admitted the last outing was running through his mind.
"I got two outs, nobody on and I was like, 'Alright, same situation. I can't let this happen. I've got to bear down,'" he said.
Facing Delmon Young, who has been one of Detroit's hottest hitters with two home runs and five RBIs in he previous three games, Perez got a quick groundout to end the game.
"I definitely moved past it, but it's still there," he said. "It's not wiped cleaned. I think it's a disservice to yourself when you do that. Sometimes you need different kinds of motivation and it was a good learning experience."