CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes missed more than two months of action because of a dislocated right shoulder, and a broken bone in his hand that he suffered in his final minor-league rehabilitation start before a return to the Major League level last month.
But throughout the struggles that came with his rehabilitation process, Gomes returned to the Indians this past weekend, and relieved that frustration in the form of a home run in his first at-bat of a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals that locked up home-field advantage against the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series.
“To be honest, I kind of couldn’t believe it,” Gomes said. “It was a moment of I couldn’t believe I was playing, and then, a moment where I couldn’t believe I hit a homer in my first at-bat too. It was a pretty exciting moment.”
Following the two-run homer in the top half of the third inning, Gomes got a better than warm reception in dugout.
“It felt pretty good, man,” Gomes said. “It just goes to show that these guys have supported me all the way through a way too long of a D.L. stint here, but they’ve been right there with me, wanting me to fight.”
It was a moment those in the dugout with Gomes will not soon forget either.
“How about that?” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “It’s good in a lot of respects, but even just the fact that I was so happy for him after all the work he’s put in. For him to be able to come into the dugout and get that reception from his teammates, I thought that was pretty cool.
“I was amazed. It’s not that easy. I think sometimes, with players, their concentration is so sharp because they know he hasn’t been out there and there’s been a lot going on. He was short and quick to the ball.”
Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin added, “It was awesome. That was awesome. I was on the bench. I actually just turned around and got a water and saw everybody go nuts in the dugout, and I saw it was going. That was special. He needed that, and it’s good to have him back.”
With the regular season complete, the Indians are turning their focus toward the first-round series with the Red Sox, which gets underway Thursday night at Progressive Field. And they are looking for more memorable moments like Gomes’ home run at Kansas City as the postseason gets rolling. Thank
“I didn’t really feel anything,” Gomes said. “It was kind of numb throughout. You could see going into that at-bat, I was trying to just shake my leg so I could just stay in the moment here. It’s been a pretty long journey to get back and be a part of the on-field part of this team, and I’m happy to be back.”