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Ramirez backs Kluber with 2 HRs to lift Tribe

Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Corey Kluber wasn't yet ready to leave the mound, so he paused, his gaze fixed downward, and brushed some dirt with his foot Sunday afternoon. Finally he made off for the visitors' dugout at Camden Yards, having struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Kluber surrendered a pair of early home runs to Manny Machado, but he looked more and more like himself as the game wore on. The perfect seventh inning capped another strong outing for Kluber, and the Indians rolled to a 7-3 victory.

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BALTIMORE -- Corey Kluber wasn't yet ready to leave the mound, so he paused, his gaze fixed downward, and brushed some dirt with his foot Sunday afternoon. Finally he made off for the visitors' dugout at Camden Yards, having struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Kluber surrendered a pair of early home runs to Manny Machado, but he looked more and more like himself as the game wore on. The perfect seventh inning capped another strong outing for Kluber, and the Indians rolled to a 7-3 victory.

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"I didn't command the ball great today, but that being said, I got a lot of weak contact and we were able to get some quick outs," said Kluber, who has thrown quality starts in all five of his chances this season.

Video: CLE@BAL: Kluber allows three runs over seven innings

Cleveland's offensive charge was led by Jose Ramirez, who opened his team's scoring with a solo shot in the fourth and then added a two-run dinger in the ninth. It marked the seventh multi-home run game of his career. Yonder Alonso added an RBI double in the fourth, and Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley hit RBI singles in the fifth. Yan Gomes doubled in the final run in the ninth.

Video: CLE@BAL: Lindor drives in Davis with an RBI single

In seven-plus innings, Kluber allowed three earned runs on six hits to go along with four strikeouts. Left-hander Andrew Miller -- who entered after a leadoff single chased Kluber in the eighth -- and right-hander Cody Allen tossed a spotless inning apiece to close out the game.

"At that point in time, it's a one-run game and we've got one of the best relievers in baseball down there waiting, so it's no time to mess around," Kluber said.

Video: CLE@BAL: Brantley lines an RBI single to left field

SOUND SMART
Before Ramirez struck out in the first inning, he was the hardest batter to fan in the Major Leagues (20 PA/K entering Sunday). He struck out again in the seventh, but his pair of homers more than made up for the whiffs.

HE SAID IT
"The line early looked like he had given up three runs, but I mean Machado kind of had a lot to do with that. Probably the one guy he didn't locate to, and the one guy you better. He's obviously feeling good about himself. But other than that, I thought he was really good." -- Indians manager Terry Francona, on Kluber

Video: CLE@BAL: Francona on Indians' bats late in 7-3 win

UP NEXT
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco takes the ball for the Indians in the series finale against the Orioles on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Carrasco is in the middle of a terrific April; he's completed at least six innings while allowing two runs or fewer in each of his three starts. Carrasco will duel Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman.

Joshua Needelman is a contributor for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber, Jose Ramirez

Francona will keep Tribe aggressive on bases

Manager OK with runners' choices on Saturday despite being thrown out 3 times
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Cleveland likes to run. In fact, the Indians' 21 stolen-base attempts are tied for fourth in the Major Leagues. But something went wrong Saturday night.

Perhaps Orioles catcher Chance Sisco had done his homework. Perhaps Cleveland is still weary from its trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, last week. The Indians attempted three steals in their 4-0 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards, and three times they were thrown out.

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BALTIMORE -- Cleveland likes to run. In fact, the Indians' 21 stolen-base attempts are tied for fourth in the Major Leagues. But something went wrong Saturday night.

Perhaps Orioles catcher Chance Sisco had done his homework. Perhaps Cleveland is still weary from its trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, last week. The Indians attempted three steals in their 4-0 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards, and three times they were thrown out.

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Cleveland manager Terry Francona doesn't think the showing is symptomatic of a larger problem.

"I went back and I looked at it. I think they all picked good times to run. They were all bang-bang," Francona said.

Video: CLE@BAL: Francona discusses Clevinger's gem, 4-0 win

Michael Brantley was the first to fall victim to Sisco. He followed up Jose Ramirez's home run to start the sixth inning with a single, then attempted to snag second with Yonder Alonso batting. Brantley was called out just before Alonso went deep to put the Indians up by four.

Then, after singling to left field with two outs in the seventh, Francisco Lindor was called out at second trying to steal.

It was the call on Rajai Davis' ninth-inning attempt to swipe third base that irked Francona. Davis pinch-ran for Edwin Encarnacion, who reached base on a walk. When Alonso walked in the next at-bat, Davis moved to second. Davis took off for third with Yan Gomes at the plate, and Cisco fired to third baseman Tim Beckham, who applied the tag on time.

"Rajai was probably safe," Francona said. "The angle that showed he was safe wasn't on the replay system, so we wouldn't have gotten it anyway."

Video: CLE@BAL: Sisco throws out Naquin stealing second

The Indians went 1-for-2 on the basepaths on Friday, with Lindor reaching second safely and Tyler Naquin getting called out as the Orioles picked up the 3-1 victory.

Saturday's caught-stealings were easier to digest since Cleveland won, but don't expect the team to tone down its aggressiveness on the basepaths. The Indians have relied on the long ball a lot this season, so Francona is eager to diversify his team's scoring opportunities.

Worth noting

Right-hander Josh Tomlin, who has been dealing with a back issue, threw a side session on Saturday and will return to the rotation for the Indians' series opener against the Cubs at Progressive Field on Tuesday. Tomlin struggled mightily his first time out, allowing eight earned runs in three innings against the Angels on April 3. He last started April 10, throwing five scoreless innings against the Tigers. He came out of the bullpen for one inning last Wednesday against the Twins, allowing one unearned run.

Joshua Needelman is a contributor for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Cleveland Indians

Clevinger shuts out O's, allows just 2 singles

Tribe's slumping offense breaks out with 3 home runs
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- With a clubhouse full of pitching valedictorians, Mike Clevinger is testing himself every time he steps on the mound.

"If you're in class and everyone is making a 90 and you're making a 60 on the test, how good is that going to feel every single day?" Clevinger said. "Eventually, you're at least going to get to that 80 grade, and that's what the cool thing is about Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. They're setting the bar so high that even falling just a little bit short, you're going to be pretty damn good."

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BALTIMORE -- With a clubhouse full of pitching valedictorians, Mike Clevinger is testing himself every time he steps on the mound.

"If you're in class and everyone is making a 90 and you're making a 60 on the test, how good is that going to feel every single day?" Clevinger said. "Eventually, you're at least going to get to that 80 grade, and that's what the cool thing is about Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. They're setting the bar so high that even falling just a little bit short, you're going to be pretty damn good."

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Saturday at Camden Yards, Clevinger took the Orioles to school, putting together arguably the best performance of his career, a two-hit shutout that propelled the Indians to a 4-0 victory.

"I'll tell you what," manager Terry Francona said, "That was really fun to watch."

Video: CLE@BAL: Clevinger and Francona on Tribe's 4-0 win

Clevinger's dominant performance was boosted by solo home runs from Yan Gomes, Jose Ramirez and Yonder Alonso, as Cleveland continued its reliance on the long ball as the rest of its offense struggles.

At the start, Clevinger didn't seem to be on track for a dominant performance, as the Orioles made several loud outs in the first few innings and the Indians' starter struggled with his pitch count.

Video: CLE@BAL: Ramirez cranks a solo homer to right field

"It started off rough," Clevinger said. "I had 60 pitches through three [innings] and that wasn't efficient at all. I was trying to figure out a way to get deep into the game."

Clevinger's only issue came in the fourth, when he allowed a leadoff single to Manny Machado, and Chris Davis followed with a grounder into the shift that Francisco Lindor misplayed for a rare error, giving Baltimore first and third with no outs. But Clevinger bore down, getting Tim Beckham on a shallow fly to left and inducing a ground-ball out from Anthony Santander to get out of the inning.

Video: CLE@BAL: Clevinger retires Santander to elude trouble

"It seemed like from there, he just started pounding the zone," Francona said. "He got a couple of first-pitch outs of innings, which is always really good, and started using all his pitches."

After giving up a sixth-inning single, Clevinger finished by retiring the final 14 batters he faced, often in quick fashion, as he and Gomes were in rhythm all game.

"The way Yan was calling and setting up the game, it kind of put them in attack mode later in the game," Clevinger said.

The first complete game of Clevinger's career stands in contrast to his last outing, in which he squandered a four-run lead in a no-decision against Toronto. After seven days off, Clevinger came back with a renewed focus, and the effort showed.

"He's been able to stick to his game plans and throw his plus pitches out there," Gomes said. "His progress and everything that he's doing has been really fun to watch."

Video: CLE@BAL: Gomes drills a solo home run to left in 4th

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Not only did Ramirez go 3-for-4 with a long home run, he made a fantastic defensive play in the eighth inning, diving to his left and getting up to make a perfect strike to first to rob Craig Gentry of a hit, continuing to show the value of both his bat and his glove.

"He's a good defender wherever we put him and it's nice to see him swing the bat too," Francona said. "We need him. He's so important to what we're doing."

Video: CLE@BAL: Ramirez lays out to take a hit from Gentry

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Alonso became the first player this season to hit a home run over the right-field fence and onto Eutaw Street with his sixth-inning blast that gave Cleveland a 4-0 lead. Alonso is just the 54th visiting player and 94th player overall to hit the street. The 414-foot home run had an exit velocity of 112.3 mph, according to Statcast™.

Video: CLE@BAL: Alonso demolishes a solo homer to right

HE SAID IT
"He's got a lot of life on his fastball. I don't think we struck out, what, two or three times all day? Is that true? I'm not sure if I had it right. Three. So, he got a lot of balls on the ground." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on Clevinger

UP NEXT
Corey Kluber (2-1, 1.52 ERA) gets the start in Game 3, a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Orioles' Andrew Cashner. Kluber tallied a shutout in his prior outing at Camden Yards, last June 19. Kluber, who has 1,234 strikeouts, needs just one more strikeout to tie Charles Nagy for sixth on the franchise's all-time K's list.

Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Cleveland Indians, Yonder Alonso, Mike Clevinger, Yan Gomes, Jose Ramirez

Youthful Zimmer still learning the ropes

Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Bradley Zimmer has a mere 117 games under his belt in the Majors, so it's no surprise to know that he's still learning on the fly.

Friday night served as an example. When the game against the Orioles began, the wind was blowing in and Zimmer was playing a shallower-than-usual center field. That proved to be an issue in the fourth inning, when Baltimore's Chris Davis crushed a ball that sailed over the speedy Zimmer's head, leading to a double.

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BALTIMORE -- Bradley Zimmer has a mere 117 games under his belt in the Majors, so it's no surprise to know that he's still learning on the fly.

Friday night served as an example. When the game against the Orioles began, the wind was blowing in and Zimmer was playing a shallower-than-usual center field. That proved to be an issue in the fourth inning, when Baltimore's Chris Davis crushed a ball that sailed over the speedy Zimmer's head, leading to a double.

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"When [the wind] sort of let up a little bit, he probably got caught a little too shallow," manager Terry Francona said Saturday. "He's real young, but he's done a helluva job in center field."

Video: CLE@BAL: Zimmer makes smooth sliding grab on Jones

Zimmer is no stranger to center, having played it since his high school days. But playing it at the MLB level is a different thing altogether, and Zimmer is still making adjustments, though Francona has been pleased with the 25-year-old's work thus far.

"I just think that sometimes, when guys are young, they're still young," Francona said. "He can go get it pretty good. He's done a really good job in center field for us. I don't think, since he's come up, that he's missed a cut-off man -- things that maybe with younger guys, you don't see right away."

On offense, Zimmer has been one of the few Indians hitters to reside above the Mendoza Line, in part due to a more closed stance at the plate.

"He's got such long levers, so those guys, when they connect, it's good. But you've got to try to be real short, because the levers are so long," Francona said.

Worth noting
• Cleveland acquired utility infielder Jon Berti from the Blue Jays on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations. Berti, 28, will be assigned to Triple-A Columbus. Berti was drafted by Toronto in the 18th round in 2011 and had spent his entire career with the organization. He played in four games with Triple-A Buffalo this season.

• Pitcher Trevor Bauer was far more critical of his outing in Friday's loss than Francona, and the manager noted that if Bauer can turn a negative into a positive, he's fine with it.

"If it helps them, if they use it to spur themselves on, that's OK, but if they beat themselves up, that's not good. I think Trev, that's just his personality."

• Injured third baseman Gio Urshela (right hamstring strain) went 1-for-3 with a run scored Friday in Triple-A Columbus' 13-5 loss to Rochester, while playing seven innings. Urshela is now 2-for-10 in four games with the Clippers.

Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Cleveland Indians, Bradley Zimmer

Indians unable to back solid Bauer vs. O's

Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Trevor Bauer was off to a solid start Friday, but the analytical pitcher knew it was fool's gold, because he didn't have command of all his pitches.

"I really struggled putting guys away tonight," Bauer said. "My slider was terrible. When I can't put guys away with that, they know I'm going to throw curveballs. And so when I throw bad ones, I get away with them less."

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BALTIMORE -- Trevor Bauer was off to a solid start Friday, but the analytical pitcher knew it was fool's gold, because he didn't have command of all his pitches.

"I really struggled putting guys away tonight," Bauer said. "My slider was terrible. When I can't put guys away with that, they know I'm going to throw curveballs. And so when I throw bad ones, I get away with them less."

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It was a bad curveball that proved to be the difference in the game, as Baltimore's Trey Mancini broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with a two-run double off a hanging Bauer curve to send Cleveland to a 3-1 defeat, spoiling a quality start for Bauer.

Video: CLE@BAL: Mancini rips a two-run double to left-center

"On a lot of nights, seven innings and three runs, and we're talking about how well he did," manager Terry Francona said.

Bauer (1-2) got off to a fast start, allowing no hits and registering four strikeouts -- all looking -- through the first three innings. But Baltimore's Manny Machado came up in the fourth and hammered a home run to straightaway center field to tie the score at 1. The fifth inning got off to a poor start when a hit by pitch and single put Bauer in a two-on, no-out situation, and Mancini followed with the decisive blow.

"It was elevated and inner-third, inner-half," Bauer said. "I probably should have thrown a cutter, at least one, tonight. I pretty much limited myself to three pitches and one of them wasn't working, so when I'm a two-pitch pitcher, I'm not nearly as good as I can be."

Bauer finished his night giving up five hits while striking out six -- ending a four-start streak of at least seven strikeouts. The three earned runs he allowed were a season high, and with the lack of run support Cleveland's starters have been getting, it proved to be a big hurdle to overcome.

Video: CLE@BAL: Bauer gets Jones to ground into double play

"I was happy with my ability to throw strikes and command the ball, especially in a ballpark where I typically struggle to do that," he said. "I was happy with that aspect of it. I was able to be competitive. I pitched well enough to win, I just didn't get it done tonight."

The Indians' offense continues to sputter, as Edwin Encarnacion drove in the only run for the Tribe when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first inning. Michael Brantley and Tyler Naquin had two hits apiece while the rest of the lineup could manage only two hits total as the Indians tied a season high with 12 strikeouts on the night.

"It's extremely frustrating," shortstop Francisco Lindor said. "I have to do a better job of helping my team. It's a bad streak. It will turn around. It's just a matter of time."

Video: CLE@BAL: Lindor makes a quick charging stop, throw

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Missed chance: The Indians had a golden opportunity to jump out to a big early lead, loading the bases with one out in the first inning on a Jason Kipnis single, a Jose Ramirez walk and a Brantley blooper to left. Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy grazed Encarnacion with a pitch to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead, but Yonder Alonso's fly ball to left wasn't deep enough to allow Ramirez to tag up and Roberto Perez followed with the first of his four strikeouts on the night to end the threat.

"It's really tough," Alonso said. "We had a chance to put away the game right there. We should have done a lot better there."

Video: CLE@BAL: Encarnacion gets HBP with the bases loaded

SOUND SMART
Bauer's loss ended a run of six straight victories against American League East opponents. His last loss to an AL East foe before Friday was May 8, 2017, against Toronto. Overall, Bauer is 9-13 against the division.

HE SAID IT
"I don't think you just keep putting it off, but we have proven hitters that are going to hit. I hope it starts tomorrow. It's certainly frustrating for everybody, but I do believe we're going to hit again."
-- Francona, on the team's offensive struggles

Video: CLE@BAL: Francona on the Indians' loss to Orioles

UP NEXT
Right-hander Mike Clevinger (1-0, 2.70 ERA) takes the hill after an extended seven-day rest in a 4:05 p.m. ET start Saturday against the Orioles' Chris Tillman. Clevinger picked up two victories against the Orioles last season, including a win at Baltimore on June 22.

Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com.

Cleveland Indians, Trevor Bauer

Salazar among Indians making rehab progress

Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- The Indians' collection of injured players all remain on the shelf for now, but there has been enough progress made during their rehab work that manager Terry Francona has a positive outlook about their return, especially in the case of starter Danny Salazar.

The right-hander has been sidelined all season with right shoulder inflammation, but Francona said Friday that Salazar's bullpen work during extended spring camp in Arizona has been encouraging, although there was no discussion of a timetable for his return.

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BALTIMORE -- The Indians' collection of injured players all remain on the shelf for now, but there has been enough progress made during their rehab work that manager Terry Francona has a positive outlook about their return, especially in the case of starter Danny Salazar.

The right-hander has been sidelined all season with right shoulder inflammation, but Francona said Friday that Salazar's bullpen work during extended spring camp in Arizona has been encouraging, although there was no discussion of a timetable for his return.

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"We're cautiously optimistic that he's kind of turned a corner," Francona said. "His intensity in the bullpens has been good and he says he feels pretty good. So that's good."

Third baseman Gio Urshela continues to rehab his right hamstring strain with Triple-A Columbus. After a day off Thursday, Urshela was expected to play five to seven innings with the Clippers on Friday, "depending on how much running and how the game is going," Francona said.

Cody Anderson (elbow) continues to throw bullpen sessions in Arizona as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, while Ryan Merritt (left knee) also continues to work during extended spring camp.

"Merritt is going to throw one more game in Arizona and then he'll start his rehab progression," Francona said. "And he's starting to feel pretty good."

Tribe hopeful busy stretch, weather helps offense

Aside from their brief trip to Puerto Rico, the weather has not been kind to the Indians this season, both from a hitting and schedule standpoint. So while the upper-50s temperatures on Friday in Baltimore didn't have anyone thinking summer, they did provide some relief to a frigid April.

"In my career, I've never played so many games this cold," first baseman Yonder Alonso said. "But it is what it is. You can't really put that as an excuse. You would like to say it's mind over matter, for sure. Obviously, with the weather, you may hit some balls that you think may carry a little bit more in the summertime, but at the end of the day, you've got to grind the at-bats."

In addition to the cold, the rainouts and off-days have also wreaked havoc on the Tribe's hitting habits. Friday's game marked the start of a stretch in which Cleveland will play 18 games in 17 days, something that Francona sees as helpful for his squad.

"Hopefully Mother Nature cooperates, because we are such a game built on rhythm and timing," he said. "We've got a lot of baseball coming up. Hopefully we play it, because that will be good for us."

Entering Friday, Cleveland had put together five straight games of double-digit hits to raise its batting average from .158 to .208, but that remains last in the Majors.

"You have to find a way to make an adjustment, simple as that," Alonso said. "For us, it's not putting that much thought into the weather being cold, because the other side has to deal with the same thing."

Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com.

Cleveland Indians, Danny Salazar

Haase among top prospect performers

Cubs' No. 1 makes impressive Triple-A debut
MLB.com @wboor

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

Adbert Alzolay's 2018 season got off to a late start, but his debut with Triple-A Iowa was certainly worth the wait.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

Adbert Alzolay's 2018 season got off to a late start, but his debut with Triple-A Iowa was certainly worth the wait.

After suffering an ankle injury in Spring Training, Alzolay began the 2018 campaign in extended spring training, but he was added to the Iowa roster on Friday and was lights out in a win over Nashville.

The 23-year-old, who fired 50 of his 75 pitches for strikes, was perfect through four innings and carried a no-hitter into the sixth before giving up a solo homer. However, Alzolay was able to limit the damage as that was the only run he surrendered.

Video: Top Prospects: Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs

The right-hander finished the sixth and was lifted after striking out six and giving up the one run on two hits.

Other top prospect performances from Friday's action:

No. 3 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) and No. 13 Bo Bichette (Blue Jays' No. 2) provided all of the offense for Double-A New Hampshire in a loss to Reading. Guerrero went 0-for-4 at the plate, but he drove in two runs via groundouts, while Bichette, who also drove in a pair, collected two hits a day after his 10-game hitting streak came to a close.

• No. 25 overall prospect Brendan McKay (Rays' No. 3) broke out of his slump and collected a career-high four RBIs in Class A Bowling Green's win over Lake County. McKay, who had been hitless over his past four games (11 at-bats), went 2-for-4, including RBI hits in the seventh and eighth.

Video: Top Prospects: Brendan McKay, 1B, Rays

• No. 55 overall prospect Matt Manning (Tigers' No. 2) got off to a particularly fast start in his 2018 debut with Class A West Michigan. Manning, a first-round pick from the 2016 Draft, struck out nine batters over the first three innings, including eight in a row, and ultimately finished with 10, a career high. However, after cruising through three innings, Manning ran into trouble in the fourth and was lifted after giving up three runs on two hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Manning notches 10th K

• No. 62 overall prospect Jo Adell (Angels' No. 2) and Brandon Marsh (Angels' No. 5) were at the center of Class A Burlington's offensive explosion in a 28-7 win over Quad Cities. The duo, hitting third and fourth in the Bees' lineup, combined to go 6-for-11 with 15 RBIs and six runs scored. Adell went 4-for-6 with a double, a grand slam and eight RBIs, while Marsh drove in seven and also hit a grand slam in a 2-for-5 effort.

Athletics' No. 6 prospect Austin Beck hit his first homer of the season and posted another multi-hit performance, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs for Class A Beloit. Beck, the A's first-round pick from 2017, has an RBI in three straight games and five hits in his past 10 at-bats.

Brewers No. 4 prospect Lucas Erceg pushed his average to .362 and set a season high with four hits (4-for-5) in Double-A Biloxi's win over Mobile. The 22-year-old also drove in four runs via a solo homer in the first, a two-run single in the fifth and a base hit in the eighth.

Video: Top Prospects: Lucas Erceg, 3B, Brewers

Cardinals No. 25 prospect Johan Oviedo spun his best start of the season for Class A Peoria. After giving up nine runs in five innings over his first two starts, Oviedo threw six scoreless in a win over Wisconsin. The right-hander struggled with command -- walking five -- but notched eight strikeouts and gave up just three hits.

Indians No. 20 prospect Eric Haase extended his hitting streak to five games with his first homer of the season, a three-run blast, in the first inning of Triple-A Columbus' loss to Rochester. Haase, who is batting .341 through 11 games, added a pair of singles later in the game, finishing 3-for-4.

Nationals No. 4 prospect Erick Fedde lowered his ERA to 1.80 with his second scoreless start for Triple-A Syracuse. Fedde, who yielded just two hits, retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced as he cruised through five scoreless frames. The 25-year-old threw 40 of his 75 pitches for strikes, walked one and struck out seven.

Video: Top Prospects: Erick Fedde, RHP, Nationals

Marlins No. 11 prospect Brian Miller matched his career high with four hits for Class A Advanced Jupiter. Batting atop the Hammerheads order, Miller, who went 4-for-5, has hits in 11 of the 13 games he's played and is slashing .311/.354/.361.

Phillies No. 23 prospect McKenzie Mills put together another strong start for Class A Advanced Clearwater. The 22-year-old lefty gave up one run on three hits over seven innings and has now fanned 10 and given up two runs over his past 13 frames (two starts).

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Napoli to have season-ending knee surgery

Slugger sustains torn ACL, meniscus running down foul popup in Triple-A game
MLB.com @MLBastian

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Mike Napoli sustained a serious right knee injury while playing for Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, creating questions about where the first baseman's career will go from here. The Indians announced prior to Thursday's game in Baltimore that Napoli will require season-ending surgery.

Indians manager Terry Francona exchanged text messages with Napoli prior to the Indians' game against the Twins on Wednesday in San Juan,.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Mike Napoli sustained a serious right knee injury while playing for Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, creating questions about where the first baseman's career will go from here. The Indians announced prior to Thursday's game in Baltimore that Napoli will require season-ending surgery.

Indians manager Terry Francona exchanged text messages with Napoli prior to the Indians' game against the Twins on Wednesday in San Juan,.

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"I told him, 'Things happen for a reason,'" Francona said. "Who knows? Maybe this now starts him on a second journey in his career. I'm not speaking for him -- that's not fair. But that's what I hope."

Watch: MiLB Video

The Indians announced that Napoli sustained a torn right ACL and meniscus and will require 10-14 months of recovery in order to allow the swelling to recede. Napoli was running after a foul popup down the right-field line against Pawtucket at Huntington Park when his right knee buckled.

Over 12 Major League seasons, Napoli has played in three World Series -- including in 2016 with the Indians -- and won one championship (2013 Red Sox). The catcher turned first baseman belted 267 home runs across his tours with the Angels, Rangers, Indians and Red Sox.

The Indians brought the 36-year-old Napoli to Spring Training this year as a non-roster invitee, giving him a chance to audition for a Major League job elsewhere. When an opportunity did not arise, Napoli accepted Cleveland's offer to open the season with Triple-A Columbus. In eight games, Napoli went 3-for-24 with one home run for the Clippers.

"He was an impact player," Francona said. "My guess is he'll impact the game doing something else now."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Mike Napoli

Checking in on AL Central new guys: Alonso

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- New faces abound in the American League Central in 2018, some young and some old. And we're not talking about Frosty the Snowman, who has made an appearance in every AL Central park from Detroit to Kansas City here in April.

Let's go around the horn in the AL Central and check out the new guys.

KANSAS CITY -- New faces abound in the American League Central in 2018, some young and some old. And we're not talking about Frosty the Snowman, who has made an appearance in every AL Central park from Detroit to Kansas City here in April.

Let's go around the horn in the AL Central and check out the new guys.

Indians
Who's the new guy?
First baseman Yonder Alonso

Video: CLE@MIN: Alonso homers to right field, call confirmed

How's it going so far? Through 16 games, Alonso has a .196/.274/.375 slash line to go with three home runs and nine RBIs. Like most of the Indians' lineup, Alonso's slow start was impacted by an extremely cold stretch of games in Cleveland.

What's on deck? Alonso's .195 batting average on balls in play is the ninth-lowest mark in the AL. That, combined with other peripheral statistics, indicate a positive regression is coming.

Number to know: 8. Alonso is one of 16 players in MLB with at least eight barrels, per Statcast™..

Royals
Who's the new guy?
Rookie left-hander Tim Hill

Video: CWS@KC: Hill fans Sanchez to record first strikeout

How's it going so far? Incredibly well. Hill perhaps was a long shot to make the 25-man roster entering Spring Training, but his funky sidearm delivery caught the coaching staff's eyes immediately. Hill's fastball sits around 91-92 mph, and extensive work on his slider ("It's still improving," manager Ned Yost said.) this spring is paying off, as AL hitters are still somewhat baffled by his repertoire.

What's on deck? More high-leverage situations. As the rest of the Royals' bullpen wobbles, Hill and closer Kelvin Herrera have been Yost's most reliable go-to guys. Yost and his staff had been hoping to bring Hill along slowly, but now Kansas City may have no choice but to use Hill from the eighth inning on.

Number to know: 0. That's the number of hits Hill has given up in his first seven appearances.

Tigers
Who's the new guy?
Leonys Martin

Video: DET@CLE: Martin cranks solo HR over right-field wall

How's it going so far? Martin has filled the leadoff and center-field roles surprisingly well, covering more range in the gaps at Comerica Park than probably anybody since Austin Jackson's rookie year. Offensively, Martin scored nine runs in his first 14 games, including the go-ahead tally Tuesday after reaching base on a bunt single.

What's on deck? Martin is in line to get close to everyday playing time in center now that JaCoby Jones is getting the bulk of the starts in left. With Dixon Machado having cooled off from his start, Martin is safe in the leadoff spot for the near future.

Number to know 5. Those are the Outs Above Average Martin earned in about a half-season of playing time last year between the Mariners and Cubs. He's on track to top that in Detroit.

Twins
Who's the new guy?
Designated hitter/first baseman Logan Morrison

Video: MIN@PIT: Morrison scores Sano on an RBI double

How's it going so far? Morrison has struggled offensively so far since signing a one-year deal in Spring Training. He was brought in to be a power bat from the left side after a breakout year with the Rays last year, when he clubbed 38 home runs. Morrison has yet to break out of his slump this season, and he has produced only one extra-base hit (a double) in 44 at-bats this season.

What's on deck? The Twins believe Morrison will get it going offensively based on his track record, so he'll continue to be the everyday designated hitter and backup to Joe Mauer at first base. Morrison has also had to adjust to playing in cold weather early this season, so the hope is his bat will heat up with the weather.

Number to know: 3. The number of hits for Morrison in his first 12 games with Minnesota.

White Sox
Who's the new guy?
Right-hander Bruce Rondon

Video: DET@CWS: Rondon strikes out Cabrera swinging in 8th

How's it going so far? The hard-throwing right-hander came up from Triple-A Charlotte to replace an ineffective Juan Minaya in Chicago's bullpen and has been unhittable in a small sample size. Rondon's 100 mph velocity and a sharp slider to go with it gives the White Sox a potential closer, or at least another late-inning option.

What's on deck? Look for Rondon to continue getting late-inning, high-leverage opportunities, although the White Sox have Nate Jones and Joakim Soria in place in the closer's role. At 27, Rondon could be a newfound part of the rebuild, or he could end up being a great trade chip if he continues pitching well.

Number to know: 5. Rondon struck out the first five batters he faced this season, including his old friend and Detroit teammate Miguel Cabrera, who gave Rondon a knowing wink after a slider got him

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Yonder Alonso, Tim Hill, Leonys Martin, Logan Morrison, Bruce Rondon

Inbox: Is Ramirez's slow start cause for concern?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian fields Indians fans' questions
MLB.com @MLBastian

The Indians are 9.9 percent of the way through their 162-game regular season schedule, so it's still too early to make any sweeping conclusions about any individuals in the lineup. I could sit here and detail all the reasons why Player X is struggling and then -- one week later -- a hot streak might make it look like he's enjoying a strong April all along.

Tweet from @fmjosh: I realize any player can get off to a slow start, but it's not something we usually see from Jose, right? Any concerns there? Him coming back to earth? (not that anyone thought he was necessarily playing above his head) #IndiansInbox

The Indians are 9.9 percent of the way through their 162-game regular season schedule, so it's still too early to make any sweeping conclusions about any individuals in the lineup. I could sit here and detail all the reasons why Player X is struggling and then -- one week later -- a hot streak might make it look like he's enjoying a strong April all along.

Jose Ramirez is a great example, too. Through his first nine games, including a handful in near-freezing temperatures in Cleveland, the All-Star third baseman was sporting a .061 batting average. Ramirez then hit .357 with three home runs, more walks (five) than strikeouts (two) and a 1.133 OPS over his next seven contests for the Tribe.

Ramirez is still digging his way out of that early April slump, and I'd expect him to keep seeing his slash line regress positively. As far as Ramirez's production at the start of seasons past, there may be a little bit of recency bias here. If it feels like Ramirez usually gets off to a hot start, that could be because he hit .330 with a .982 OPS in the first month a year ago.

Over the course of Ramirez's career, however, he has been roughly league average (99 weighted runs created plus) in the season's first month. He also has an 83 wRC+ in his career in May, indicating he's hit 17 percent below average in that particular month. Ramirez has shown that, as the weather heats up, so does his bat. In his career, Ramirez has been well above average in June (130 wRC+), July (116), August (112) and September (146).

Now, while it's too premature to do a deep dive into Ramire'z 2018 statistics, it's not too early to look for what has troubled him in the batter's box to date. Through Wednesday, for example, Ramirez had turned in a .303 slugging percentage on all varieties of fastballs, per Statcast™. Last season, when the third baseman ended third in American League MVP voting, he tortured fastballs to the tune of a .648 slugging percentage.

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Tweet from @nathan_carder: It���s very early in the season, but do you think the front office will be aggressive before the trade deadline this year? Reliever (or two) and a bat for the lineup? #IndiansInbox

The Edwin Encarnacion free-agent signing aside two winters ago, the Indians' modus operandi over the past few years has been to target specific needs ahead of both the non-waiver Trade Deadline (July 31) and waiver deadline (Aug. 31). In 2016, Cleveland added Andrew Miller and Brandon Guyer for a slew of prospects. Last year, the Tribe reeled in Jay Bruce and Joe Smith. I'd expect the Indians to take a similar approach later this summer, especially when needs for October may be more easily identified.

Indians chairman and CEO Paul Dolan addressed that topic during Spring Training.

"I would be shocked," Dolan said, "if a Bruce-like opportunity surfaced, where we had an obvious need and a high-quality player like Bruce was available, and we didn't have to surrender prospects to get him, I'd be very surprised if we didn't act on that. I have no idea whether or not we would consider a high-volume prospect [deal] -- an Andrew Miller-like deal."

Tweet from @RyanSito2274: Why isn���t Mejia up in the majors yet? Are they Trying to get him more exposure on other positions? We can use a hitter right now!!!!

Ryan, take a deep breath and dial back on the exclamation points. I get why Tribe fans are frustrated right now. The Indians have a 72 wRC+ as a team with a .214/.285/.381 slash line and have averaged 3.5 runs per game. It's been brutal and the offensive drought has been lineup-wide. All of that said, do not expect Cleveland to make any rash decisions after fewer than 20 games.

With so many players slumping, the better approach is to give this more time to allow the hitters -- guys with established track records of success over full seasons -- to get back on track. Then, when it's a little deeper into the schedule, it will be easier to take a step back and see which areas are truly in need of an upgrade.

Tweet from @wizard_of_izz: I like the excitement and think there should be more of it from players while rounding the bases. Lindor says he���s not showing anyone up and I believe him. What constitutes going over the line in your unwritten rule interpretation?

Jay, if I wrote here what was "over the line," then these wouldn't be unwritten rules anymore! Kidding aside, I absolutely loved the passion that Francisco Lindor showed around the bases following his home run on Tuesday night in Puerto Rico. He may never have the chance to experience a moment like that again in front of his true home crowd. The stadium was in a frenzy and the scene was spectacular. Maybe there are times when bat flips or on-field antics feel unnecessary -- during a lopsided game with no postseason-picture consequences, perhaps -- but Lindor's jubilant jaunt was not one of those moments.

Video: Lindor, Tribe cruise to a 6-1 win in Puerto Rico

Tweet from @i4tribe: @MLBastian Any update on Mike Napoli ? he went for the MRI .. nothing on local news here .

Indians manager Terry Francona did not have the specifics of Mike Napoli's right knee injury as of Wednesday, except to note that it was a "significant" setback for the veteran first baseman. Napoli injured his knee while playing for Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday and it was serious enough to warrant carting him off the field. If this is the end of the road for Napoli's playing career, Francona still feels the former All-Star can make an impact in the next phase of his career.

Tweet from @JMohler32: Tribe still subscribing to drafting college bats (Zimmer/Naquin) over high school?

The Indians have not shied away from high school players in recent MLB Drafts, especially in the early rounds. Dating back to 2011, when Lindor was Cleveland's top pick out of Montverde Academy in Florida, the Indians have taken a prep star with four of their seven picks. If you look at the club's top three picks in the past seven Drafts combined, 13 out of 21 players (62 percent) were picked out of high schools. One more, Brady Aiken (2015), was rehabbing a left elbow injury post-high school when he was drafted by the Tribe. Overall, the Indians seem to take a more balanced approach deeper into the Draft -- with a slight tilt toward collegiate athletes in the middle rounds.

Tweet from @ESTurner13: I know jerseys are pitcher���s choice but why do all of our pitcher (except Bauer) always choose the navy jerseys? Good luck? Just like them? I want to see the road grays! #IndiansInbox

There is not much to it other than the personal preference of the starting pitchers, as you mentioned. It is worth noting that the Indians wore the navy blue tops throughout their run to the World Series in 2016 and also during the 22-game winning streak last summer. Baseball players are creatures of routine, habit and superstition, so you will often see them stick with a jersey when things are going well.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez

Tribe drops 16-inning duel in Puerto Rico finale

Twins answer Edwin's HR in 14th; Carrasco sharp over 7 IP
MLB.com @MLBastian

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A few hours before Carlos Carrasco took the mound at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on Wednesday, the pitcher emerged from Cleveland's clubhouse holding a box filled with Indians hats and shirts. He proceeded to walk down the left-field line, passing them out to kids in the stands.

Carrasco and the rest of the Indians and Twins players understood that this unique series -- two games on an island still in recovery from Hurricane Maria -- was bigger than the box scores. This was an opportunity to give back, which the teams did both on and off the field. And on Wednesday, the clubs put on a show that lasted deep into the night, a 2-1 victory for Minnesota that ended in the 16th inning.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A few hours before Carlos Carrasco took the mound at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on Wednesday, the pitcher emerged from Cleveland's clubhouse holding a box filled with Indians hats and shirts. He proceeded to walk down the left-field line, passing them out to kids in the stands.

Carrasco and the rest of the Indians and Twins players understood that this unique series -- two games on an island still in recovery from Hurricane Maria -- was bigger than the box scores. This was an opportunity to give back, which the teams did both on and off the field. And on Wednesday, the clubs put on a show that lasted deep into the night, a 2-1 victory for Minnesota that ended in the 16th inning.

View Full Game Coverage

"This was really important for Puerto Rico and the fans," Carrasco said. "Everyone knows what happened on Sept. 20. I'm glad I got to play here with my teammates. I got to pitch here. It was incredible to play here. It was unbelievable."

:: Puerto Rico Series coverage ::

Over the past three days, this has been a celebration for Puerto Rico, which is where Cleveland players Francisco Lindor and Roberto Perez were born, as well as Minnesota's Jose Berrios and Eddie Rosario. In Tuesday's 6-1 victory, Lindor launched the decisive home run that rattled Estadio Hiram Bithorn. On Wednesday night, Berrios equaled the seven shutout innings spun by Carrasco, who worked with Perez behind the plate.

Rosario scored the series' final run, crossing home after a Ryan LaMarre single in the 16th.

Earlier in the day, Perez spent time with his mother, Lilliam Martinez, whose house in Mayaguez was destroyed when Hurricane Maria overtook the island in September. During Monday's off-day, Lindor went back to his former grammar school in Gurabo. Eighteen families with children attending Escuela Villa Marina -- where Lindor once tossed baseballs against the classroom's cement walls -- were displaced due to the violent storm.

Many of the fans in the ballpark lived through the hurricane and were issued a harsh reminder early Wednesday, when another island-wide power outage struck the U.S. territory. Power was restored to the stadium, where the crowd filled the air with singing and a steady rhythm of drumbeats and maracas throughout the longest MLB game in ballpark history.

"This is a moment that I won't ever forget," said Perez, who was emotional after saying goodbye to his mom and brother after the game. "I'm going to live with this the rest of my life."

Video: CLE@MIN: Perez discusses baseball in Puerto Rico

Like many of the players on the trip, Carrasco did his part for the island, too.

After the hurricane last year, Carrasco's foundation sent food, water, funds and supplies to Puerto Rico to aid in the recovery efforts. On Monday, the pitcher received a letter of gratitude from Puerto Rico Gov. Ricky Rossello and a gift from San Juan's vice mayor, Rafael Jaume. Carrasco has also led initiatives to assist children in Cleveland, the Dominican Republic and his native Venezuela.

Carrasco has long looked up to Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente, who was known as much for his skills on the field with the Pirates as his charitable work off it. A large portrait of Clemente is painted on an outer wall of Hiram Bithorn Stadium, greeting all who arrive at the ballpark's front gates.

Video: CLE@MIN: MLB dedicates marker to Clemente in PR

"I give thanks to Roberto Clemente, because he opened the door for everyone," Carrasco said. "We can give back the same way he did. I want to keep doing that."

As a team, Cleveland's players donated a full playoff share from last season to assist in efforts around Lindor's former stomping grounds, as well as in the region where Perez grew up. The Indians would have loved nothing more than to walk away with wins in both contests, but this series was about more than the final score.

"They treated us really well and I think they saw pretty good baseball," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the fans. "All in all, I think it was pretty successful for Major League Baseball."

Video: CLE@MIN: Encarnacion breaks tie with homer in 14th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trading home runs: Following 13 consecutive shutout innings from both sides, Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion broke the deadlock with a one-out homer in the 14th. His solo blast off Trevor Hildenberger caromed off the pole down the left-field line to put Cleveland ahead, 1-0. Miguel Sano responded with a first-pitch, no-doubt blast into the left-field seats against Matt Belisle in the bottom of the inning to pull the game into a 1-1 tie.

"We had [the lead] for one pitch. It didn't last long," Francona said. "And then it comes down to, when you get to that point, who makes a mistake. And we did. We had some chances. We didn't execute bunts. And it caught up with us."

Video: CLE@MIN: Sano answers with game-tying homer in 14th

Tribe can't capitalize: Yan Gomes led off the 15th inning with a double into the right-field corner and was soon joined on the bases by Brandon Guyer, who was hit in the head by a pitch from Alan Busenitz. That created an opportunity for Cleveland, but Lindor followed with a strikeout and Jason Kipnis grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to bring an abrupt halt to the inning.

SOUND SMART
The 16-inning game was the longest regular-season Major League contest held outside the continental United States and Canada in baseball history. The previous record for Hiram Bithorn Stadium was a 14-inning game between the Expos and Angels on June 5, 2003.

UP NEXT
Following an off-day, the Indians will open a four-game series with the Orioles with a 7:05 p.m. ET tilt on Friday at Camden Yards. Righty Trevor Bauer, who is 0-3 with a 7.63 ERA in his career in Baltimore, will start for Cleveland. He will be opposed by Orioles righty Dylan Bundy.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Carlos Carrasco, Edwin Encarnacion

'Bebo' feels blessed to play for mom in PR

Perez returns a hero to hurricane-ravaged home island
MLB.com @MLBastian

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Roberto Perez tried to keep his focus on baseball, but a week had gone by without hearing from his mom in Puerto Rico. The coastal town of Mayaguez, where Perez grew up and where his mom and brother still call home, was ravaged by Hurricane Maria in September. Perez had only hope, not answers.

When Perez's phone finally buzzed with word from his native island, Cleveland's catcher did not recognize the phone number, but he knew where the call originated. He picked up and heard from one of his mother's neighbors, who told Perez to remember the number. It was a land line and Perez's mom, Lilliam Martinez, could be reached there.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Roberto Perez tried to keep his focus on baseball, but a week had gone by without hearing from his mom in Puerto Rico. The coastal town of Mayaguez, where Perez grew up and where his mom and brother still call home, was ravaged by Hurricane Maria in September. Perez had only hope, not answers.

When Perez's phone finally buzzed with word from his native island, Cleveland's catcher did not recognize the phone number, but he knew where the call originated. He picked up and heard from one of his mother's neighbors, who told Perez to remember the number. It was a land line and Perez's mom, Lilliam Martinez, could be reached there.

View Full Game Coverage

Perez called as soon as he could, listened to the ringing with anticipation and then the click when someone answered.

:: Puerto Rico Series coverage ::

"Bebo?" said the voice on the other end.

It was his mom.

"It was a blessing," Perez said.

When Perez was very young, Martinez thought her son looked like a baby from magazines. She called him "Bebo" and the nickname stuck throughout his life and is now the moniker used by his teammates with the Indians. When it is Perez's turn to catch, players will call it "Bebo Day." It was Bebo Day on Wednesday night at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, where Martinez was in the stands and Perez was playing in Puerto Rico for the first time with a Major League team.

It has been seven months since Hurricane Maria caused massive destruction throughout Puerto Rico, which is still feeling the effects of the Category 5 storm. More than 3 million people were initially without power, and the island's infrastructure has remained unstable. On Wednesday morning, while Perez and his mother sat down for a wide-ranging interview, Puerto Rico sustained another massive power outage.

Video: CLE@MIN: Perez discusses baseball in Puerto Rico

While buildings surrounding Hiram Bithorn Stadium remained dark, the ballpark had its power restored so the game could go on. This was more than just a baseball game for many of the fans who flocked to the stadium. It certainly meant more than any final score for Perez, his mom and his brother, Michael, who experienced the devastation of the violent storm firsthand.

Perez felt that pain during that first phone call.

"She starts saying, 'Oh, we lost the house,'" Perez said. "That's when I told her, I said, 'You know what? That's material. Forget about it. All I care about is that you guys are safe.' And they were. I was so happy to talk to them."

The house that Perez grew up in was destroyed by the hurricane, but his family's bond was not broken. Perez, who signed a multiyear contract with the Indians early last season, told his mom that they would either purchase a new house or build one from the ground up. Martinez will soon have a new home in the same area where Perez was raised.

Video: Lindor, Perez, Francona hope to put on a show for PR

Perez's parents divorced when he was just 1 year old. Martinez drove trucks in Puerto Rico to make ends meet and did what she could to keep her son on the right path. A former softball player, Martinez saw Perez's passion for baseball when he was little, and she stoked that inner fire.

"I knew he was going to be a baseball player," Martinez said, using Perez as her interpreter. "'Every time we'd go to the store, he'd always be in the toys area. And he would pick up a bat and a ball. That's when I thought he would be a baseball player."

Martinez took Perez to his games when he was young and cheered him on. She dropped him off at the airport -- and cried the entire solitary drive home -- when he headed to Lake City, Fla., to play for Florida Gateway College. She was always a phone call or text message away, telling her son never to give up on his dreams. She rejoiced with Perez when Cleveland took him in the 33rd round of the 2008 MLB Draft and cried when he was called to the Majors six years later.

During the 2016 World Series, Martinez was in the stands when Perez belted two home runs in Game 1 against the Cubs, becoming the first Puerto Rico-born player with a multi-homer game in a Fall Classic. As Progressive Field shook, fans around her gave her hugs and handshakes amid the chaos.

Video: WS2016 Gm1: Perez drives in four runs on two jacks

"I thought I was dreaming," she said. "A moment I will never forget."

All of the sacrifices Martinez made helped mold Perez's character and work ethic. He was never a top prospect. He was not a high Draft pick. But, Perez, 29, is now considered one of baseball's elite defensive catchers -- one in a long list of "receptores" to have come out of Puerto Rico. And, Perez is now a father to two young boys, giving him a chance to draw from all he learned from his mom.

Video: Indians, Twins split historic Puerto Rico Series

"I raised them by myself," Martinez said. "The message I always tried to tell him is, 'Give them what your dad never gave you.'"

On Bebo Day in Puerto Rico, Perez gave his mom many reasons to be proud.

"This is for her," Perez said. "She deserves everything."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Roberto Perez