November 27, 2014

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Indians 9, Yankees 3: Roberto Perez homers in major league debut as Tribe rallies late

Indians catcher Roberto Perez watches his two-run homer in his major league debut Thursday during a 9-3 win over the Yankees. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Indians catcher Roberto Perez watches his two-run homer in his major league debut Thursday during a 9-3 win over the Yankees. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND — Roberto Perez knows how to make a good first impression.

Called up from the minors Tuesday, Perez hit a two-run homer in his major league debut to help spark a late rally and lead the Cleveland Indians to a 9-3 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.

“I still can’t believe it,” he said. “It was so awesome to be out there.”

The Indians scored nine runs in the last two innings. Asdrubal Cabrera’s bases-loaded triple and Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly highlighted a four-run seventh that erased a 3-0 deficit.

Brantley, a first-time All-Star this season, added an RBI single in a five-run eighth, when Perez and Carlos Santana homered.

Carlos Carrasco (2-3) pitched a scoreless seventh to help the Indians gain a four-game split.

The 25-year-old Perez, called up from Triple-A Columbus to be Cleveland’s backup catcher, singled in the seventh for his first major league hit.

His drive to left field in the eighth was originally ruled a double, but the call was changed to a home run after a replay review.

“That was nice,” Indians manager Terry Francona. “You just have to take a minute to enjoy that.”

Left fielder Chris Dickerson, acquired from Pittsburgh on Monday, was 3-for-4 and enjoyed Perez’s home run.

“It’s cool being around a kid getting his first major league home run,” Dickerson said. “I said to him, ‘Could you hit a more dramatic homer?’”

Perez was batting .305 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 53 games when he got the call to the majors.

“I wasn’t nervous going into the game, but I was anxious,” he said. “I just tried to put the ball in play.”

Perez overcame an obstacle during the game when he broke all of his bats.

“I didn’t have any left and Cabrera gave me his,” Perez said. “It’s a lighter one that I normally use, but the ball went out. I’m going to ask him for some more.”

Yankees starter David Phelps took a shutout into the seventh before Dickerson and Perez singled. Jason Kipnis singled off the glove of reliever Matt Thornton (0-3) to load the bases.

Cabrera hit the next pitch into the right-field corner, scoring all three runners and tying the game.

Brantley hit a liner to center field, where Jacoby Ellsbury made a diving catch, but Cabrera tagged up and scored the go-ahead run.

Dickerson is hitting .467 (7-for-15) in four games.

“It’s one thing to come in and get settled on a new team, but to come in and start contributing right away, that’s a big deal,” he said. “I’ve been in this position before so I know it’s important to relax and not try to do too much.”

Cleveland starter T.J. House allowed three runs in 4⅔ innings, including Zelous Wheeler’s two-run homer in the fourth.

Carrasco, Vinnie Pestano, Kyle Crockett, Scott Atchison and Nick Hagadone combined to pitch 4⅓ scoreless innings.

Derek Jeter, playing his final regular-season game in Cleveland, went 2-for-4 in the 1,000th multihit game of his career.

Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit single in the eighth for his 2,800th major league hit.

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