Peralta’s flyball sent Detroit’s Ryan Raburn(notes) crashing through a bullpen door for an inside-the-park homer, and Gomez won his major league debut as Cleveland beat the Tigers 7-2 Sunday for a four-game sweep.
Gomez (1-0), called up from Triple-A Columbus, allowed two unearned runs over seven innings.
“You couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “The kid was basically lights out.”
The 22-year-old right-hander was staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Peralta legged out his seventh homer.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Peralta drove a 1-1 pitch from Andy Oliver(notes) (0-4) toward the Cleveland bullpen in center. Raburn tried for a leaping catch, but tumbled through the bullpen door. The ball caromed off the wall and by the time left fielder Brennan Boesch(notes) could retrieve it, Peralta was chugging around the bases.
“It seemed like that’s the way things went this whole road trip,” Raburn said.
“It was very hard, especially since I’ve been sick,” said Peralta, back after missing three games with a fever. “I was surprised.”
Cleveland earned its first four-game home sweep over the Tigers since 1991. Detroit was outscored in the series 21-8, has lost five in a row overall and fell to 16-29 on the road and 16-21 in the AL Central.
“Shame on us,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “This club appeared like it wasn’t ready to play this weekend and that’s the manager’s responsibility. That’s not the players. I’m shocked, really.
“This is not rocket scientist stuff,” Leyland added. “We didn’t play very well and they played outstanding.”
Gomez pitched a perfect game at Double-A Akron in May 2009, but was only 6-8 with a 5.70 ERA in 18 Triple-A starts this year. He replaced Justin Masterson(notes), who tweaked an ankle while missing a step at home during the All-Star break and was moved back a day in the rotation.
“He just threw strikes and gave us a tremendous pick me up,” Acta said. “Too bad, but’s he’s going back.”
Acta explained that Gomez knew before taking the mound that he was headed back to the minors.
“He had his plane ticket in his hand when I went to talk to him and he said, ‘I know, it’s OK,’ ” Acta said.
Gomez said he was not nervous and got the ball from the first pitch he threw to catcher Carlos Santana(notes). After the game, teammate Jensen Lewis(notes) splattered him in the face with a celebratory shaving-cream pie. Gomez got cleaned up and went to phone his family in Venezuela.
“They were at my grandmother’s house, watching on TV,” Gomez said. “I had fun. Now, I go back to Triple-A and try to pitch good enough to come back here.”
Oliver gave up five runs over 3 2-3 innings with several friends and family members watching. The left-hander from Vermilion, 40 miles west of Progressive Field, walked five, struck out four and allowed four hits.
Cleveland had three walks and two singles in a two-run fourth. Jason Donald(notes) had an RBI groundout and another run came home on a throwing error by third baseman Don Kelly(notes)—who snared a bases-loaded line drive by Austin Kearns(notes) to end the rally.
An error by Indians first baseman Andy Marte(notes) helped the Tigers score two unearned runs in the sixth. Magglio Ordonez(notes) had an RBI double and Miguel Cabrera(notes) followed with a sacrifice fly to get Detroit to 5-2.
Overall in the series, the Tigers’ two sluggers went a combined 5 for 28 with five strikeouts apiece.
“You get spoiled,” Leyland said. “The big boys got shut down pretty good, but it’s unfair to look to them to carry you every series.”
NOTES: OF Grady Sizemore(notes) had Cleveland’s last inside-the-park homer, April 27, 2007, against Baltimore. … INF Anderson Hernandez(notes) was designated for assignment to make roster room for Gomez. … Acta said RHP Jess Todd(notes) will be recalled from Columbus to replace Gomez. … Detroit had won seven of eight before its losing streak. … Indians OF Shin-Soo Choo(notes), out since July 2 with a strained right thumb, will start an injury rehab assignment Monday at Double-A Akron. He’ll join SS Asdrubal Cabrera(notes), out since breaking his left forearm on May 18. … Detroit grounded into two double plays Sunday and six for the series. … Tigers CF Austin Jackson(notes) got the day off. The rookie has hit .388 (19 of 49) with 11 runs and six stolen bases against Cleveland.