Chris Perez leaves Sunday's game with shoulder injury

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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Indians closer Chris Perez left Sunday afternoon's game against the Red Sox with an arm injury. He walked three and threw 31 pitches in the ninth inning. Though he appeared to be flexing his arm after each pitch, it wasn't until his final offering that he showed obvious pain:

The trainer came out for a talk, and Perez threw one test pitch from the mound, but he then left the game immediately.

Manager Terry Francona confirmed his closer felt a "pinch" in his shoulder, while Perez used the words "twinge" and "pain" while speaking with reporters. He missed most of spring training with a shoulder strain and will head for tests. The team should know more Monday.

Perez, 27, went into Sunday's game having gone 6-for-8 in save chances with a 2.25 ERA this year, though he has allowed runs in three straight appearances. That obviously could be related to this shoulder issue. Perez recently deleted his Twitter account due to fan backlash over his recent performance.

Right-hander Joe Smith took over and allowed a walk-off, two-run double to Jacoby Ellsbury on the first pitch that he threw as Boston scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5.

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