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Perez looks strong in Friday bullpen session

CLEVELAND -- Closer Chris Perez took another step toward returning to Cleveland's bullpen on Friday.

Prior the Tribe's evening tilt against the Twins, Perez completed a 30-pitch bullpen session off a mound as part of his comeback from a right shoulder injury. Indians manager Terry Francona said the two-time All-Star closer looked good during the workout, but noted that Perez still has a few steps to complete before coming off the 15-day disabled list.

"We'll do this right," Francona said.

The current plan calls for Perez to head to Double-A Akron on Sunday to throw a simulated game, which will likely consist of 15-20 pitches. Francona noted that the right-hander will probably follow that with another Minor League rehab assignment on Tuesday or, if an extra day of rest is required, on Wednesday.

Francona said the Indians were still working through the details of the Minors assignment, but the manager did say that Perez would likely work the final inning rather than pitch in the first of second. On Tuesday, Perez allowed five runs on five hits, including three home runs, in a one-inning appearance for Akron.

On the season, Perez has posted a 4.32 ERA with six saves in 17 appearances. The closer has 18 strikeouts against 10 walks in 16 2/3 innings. He injured the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder during an outing against the Red Sox on May 26 and was subsequently placed on the DL.

Francona said Perez suggested throwing the simulated game on Sunday morning.

"That tells me right there that he feels pretty good physically," Francona said.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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