Cleveland Indians keep closer Chris Perez on wild-card roster

CLEVELAND - Indians manager Terry Francona says he did not consider leaving struggling closer Chris Perez off the wild-card roster.

Perez was stripped of his closing role last week after he gave up six runs in two outings when the Indians couldn't afford to lose. Perez was one 10 relievers on Cleveland's 25-man roster as the Indians hosted the Tampa Bay Rays in Wednesday night's AL wild-card game.

Francona said he understands how badly Perez wanted to be a part of the postseason, and added there's a chance the right-hander could end up pitching depending on the situation.

Perez recorded 25 saves, but the two-time All-Star posted a 7.52 ERA since Aug. 1. Perez also became a distraction when he was arrested on misdemeanor drug charges. He did not speak with reporters for three months before breaking his silence Sunday after the Indians clinched a playoff spot.

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