CLEVELAND -- In the fifth inning of Wednesday's 6-2 win over the Indians at Progressive Field, Padres starter Luis Perdomo was roughed up by the Indians -- literally. In the inning, the right-hander allowed one run on three hits, two of which actually hit him.
With the Padres leading 3-1 and a runner on second, back-to-back hard grounders off the bats of Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley both deflected off Perdomo, resulting in an RBI double and an infield single, respectively. But Perdomo escaped the inning with more bruises than runs allowed, as he got the next batter, Edwin Encarnacion, to ground into an inning-ending double play to maintain the lead.
"I just stayed calm," Perdomo said. "I stayed relaxed. I think those are things that happen in the game. You just have to go on, move on and try to make pitches. I was happy that I was in the zone and got a big ground ball out after that."
The ball off Lindor's bat hit Perdomo in the right shin and ricocheted into right field for an RBI two-bagger. Brantley's single deflected off Perdomo's right forearm and rolled over to the left side of the infield. Per Statcast™, Lindor's grounder had an exit velocity of 102 mph, while Brantley's came off the bat at 105 mph. Following Brantley's hit, pitching coach Darren Balsley went out to check on Perdomo before the righty induced the 5-4-3 twin-killer.
"I thought he was in 'battle' mode most of the day," Padres manager Andy Green said of Perdomo. "The fifth inning, it was good to see him get into traffic, guys on bases, and work his way out with a key double play to Encarnacion there. That's a pitch or at-bat that's eluded him. Balsley went out to the mound and did a nice job, kind of settling him and talking him through how to get the ground ball."
Perdomo had to work his way through plenty of traffic throughout his outing, as he also escaped jams with runners in scoring position in the first, second and fourth innings. He allowed an unearned run to cross the plate in the third -- an RBI single from Lindor -- after an error from third baseman Cory Spangenberg, but got Brantley to ground into a double play to escape further damage.
In all, he stranded five runners in his five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on nine hits. He did not issue a walk and struck out four to pick up his third straight win and fourth overall.
"I thought, overall, it was a good day for him," Green said. "I think he's got more in him than he had."
A big key to Perdomo's success on the evening came from using his two-seam fastball and slider effectively. According to Statcast™, 44 of his 90 pitches were two-seamers, and 27 were sliders. He recorded 12 called strikes and one swinging strike with the fastball, and eight strikes (four swinging, four looking) with the slider.
"I'm feeling more comfortable," Perdomo said. "I know I didn't get the calls on some of those pitches, but I'm feeling good. I'm feeling happy about it because I know I have better command."
After the victory, Perdomo has now gone 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 22 strikeouts in his last five starts.
"Yeah, I battled," Perdomo said of his start. "I definitely had to battle up there. I did until I was able to do the job, do what I needed to do. For that, I feel pretty good about the start."