Yan Gomes found it difficult on Sunday to celebrate the Cleveland Indians’ win with his right arm in a sling.
Josh Tomlin pitched 7 2-3 strong innings, Mike Napoli hit one of three Cleveland homers and the Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1.
Gomes snapped an 0-for-27 hitless skid in the third inning with a double that went off the foot of Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson and trickled into the outfield through a hole at shortstop. Two innings later, he was carted off the field with a right shoulder injury.
Running out a grounder, Gomes stepped awkwardly on first base as he tried to avoid the swipe tag of first baseman Kennys Vargas, who was pulled off the bag on the throw from third baseman Eduardo Nunez. Gomes landed on his shoulder as he tumbled to the ground.
”As far as I know it’s kind of like a shoulder separation,” he said. ”I’m going to Cleveland to be checked out and we’ll know more later.”
Manager Terry Francona said Gomes, who has started 63 games behind the plate, will end up on the disabled list with a corresponding roster move forthcoming, most likely a recall of Roberto Perez, who left Triple-A Columbus’ game Sunday.
”Things like this happen,” Francona said. ”Hopefully, you’re prepared so it doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to do.”
Chris Gimenez had two RBIs off the bench as the division-leading Indians won for just the third time in eight games.
Gimenez replaced Gomes and hit a two-run single in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.
”It’s extremely unfortunately for the team, for him number one, but my heart goes out to the guy,” Gimenez said. ”He literally cannot get a break.”
Tomlin (10-2), who gave up eight runs – including a season-high five earned – in 4 2-3 innings against Detroit in his previous outing July 6, looked more like the pitcher that had six straight quality starts before that outing. He allowed six hits and struck out four against the Twins.
Minnesota had two runners on in the first, but just three over the next four innings as Tomlin breezed through the Minnesota lineup. He retired 11 straight before Max Kepler homered in the sixth.
”I think mainly the offense put up enough runs and just let me go out there and settle in a little bit,” he said. ”We were able to execute pitches when we needed to.”
Gibson (2-6) allowed a season-high 10 hits and four earned runs in six innings. He struck out four.
”We were going to see how aggressive they were going to be,” Gibson said. ”They really showed more patience today than we probably expected.”
Napoli homered into the second deck in left field for a 1-0 lead in the second. It was his 20th of the season – and second in three games – to tie Carlos Santana for the team lead.
Three straight two-out singles by Cleveland in the fifth inning increased the lead to 2-0 when Francisco Lindor’s RBI single scored Santana.
Tyler Naquin homered in the eighth and Jason Kipnis in the ninth.