Gomes earns kudos for his shifty moves
HOUSTON -- Yan Gomes used to kick a soccer ball around before baseball practice when he was a kid growing up in Brazil. Perhaps that past played a role in the fancy footwork that the Indians catcher used on a creative slide that scored an early run in Thursday's 5-1 win over the Astros.
With two outs in the second inning, Gomes sprinted from second to home on a single to right field by Cleveland's Roberto Perez. The throw from Houston right fielder George Springer beat Gomes by a few steps, but Gomes deked Astros catcher Hank Conger and slide in safely on the inside part of the plate.
Gomes' parents sent him a message after the game.
"They were all watching it," Gomes said. "They said it's my Brazilian skills."
Springer's throw came in plenty of time for Conger to set himself up in front of home plate. As he ran toward the catcher, Gomes looked like he was going to the outside, before quickly changing direction, sliding to Conger's right and dragging a foot across the plate.
"That was kind of instincts," Gomes said. "I saw him go one way and I tried to go the other, and I got really dirty and it looked cool. ... I was actually kind of surprised that [third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh] was sending me. But in a play like that, two outs, might as well go and make them make the play.
"Hey, I put a good move there. That was probaby one of the more athletic moves I've done in a while."
Indians manager Terry Francona agreed.
"That was pretty awesome," Francona said. "We were kind of laughing, but it's a pretty good play. That's pretty athletic for your catcher to be able to do that."