CLEVELAND -- Indians closer Chris Perez has quietly and quickly rediscovered his form in the ninth inning.
Since returning from the disabled list in late June following a bout with a right shoulder injury, Perez has been practically flawless at the back end of Cleveland's bullpen. In the ninth inning of Saturday's 1-0 win over Texas, he needed just six pitches to collect his latest save.
"I thought [that] was the best C.P. has thrown all year," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He came out with velocity, command. Again, I thought that was the best he's thrown the ball all year."
In 13 appearances since being activated from the 15-day DL on June 27, Perez has fashioned a 0.64 ERA, allowing just one earned run over 14 innings. Across those frames, the right-hander has amassed 11 strikeouts against three walks, posting a 0.86 WHIP and a .180 opponents' batting average.
Perez has not been speaking to reporters, but he has let his arm do the talking by collecting eight saves in eight chances since rejoining the bullpen.
On the season, Perez has a 2.64 ERA with 14 saves in 30 appearances for the Tribe.
During his brief encounter with the Rangers on Saturday night, Perez averaged 93.9 mph on his fastball, according to brooksbaseball.net, which compiles PITCHf/x data from each game. That was noticeably higher than Perez's career-low season average of 92.5 mph, and more on par with the 94-mph fastball the closer featured on average in 2012.
If Perez is nearing his form from last year, that would be a welcome development for an Indians team that has sought consistency in its bullpen throughout this season.
"He looks like he's back to the C.P. of last year and the year before," Indians setup man Joe Smith said. "That's great for us, man. The guy is a two-time All-Star closer. He locks down games. That shortens up games by an inning for us."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.