Two homers help ease Gomes' mind

Two homers help ease Gomes' mind

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have maintained their faith that catcher Yan Gomes will get things rolling offensively soon enough. Gomes has backed up that belief of late, launching a home run in each of the first two games of the series against the Twins.

Gomes belted a two-run homer in the second inning of Friday's 7-6 victory over Minnesota, snapping an 0-for-20 slump at the plate. On Saturday he added a solo shot in the ninth inning of the Tribe's 6-3 loss.

"It didn't help us win the game," manager Terry Francona said of Saturday's home run, "but it's got to help him. ... I was telling him that the other day. It's hard to quantify it, but every bit as cold as he got, he'll get that hot. It never fails, as long as guys stay healthy."

Heading into Sunday, when he was out of the lineup, Gomes was batting .167 with five home runs, 16 RBIs and a .557 OPS in 28 games. Prior to this three-game set with the Twins, he was in the middle of a 2-for-42 slide. Needless to say, a weight was lifted off his shoulders when he homered on Friday night.

"If you see the replay," Gomes said, "as soon as I hit it, I've never done it before, but I kind of did a little [exhale], like, 'Shoot, man. About time,' going around those bases."

Gomes' two-run shot

Hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo has been working with Gomes on the direction of his stride during his swing. He has been encouraged by Gomes' progress behind the scenes over the past week, and was happy to see him clear the fence on Friday and Saturday.

"It's great," Van Burkleo. "Obviously, when you start off slow, everything is magnified. He looks up at his average and he feels like he's trying to get two hits every at-bat. I think it was a shot of oxygen for him. But he's working hard. He's going to get it. Hopefully, that kickstarts him. Sometimes it's that one pitch where you feel something."

Worth noting

• Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who was placed on baseball's bereavement list on Friday, is scheduled to travel to Cleveland on Monday but is not expected to be activated before the game against the Reds. Francona indicated that Chisenhall will officially return to the active roster on Tuesday.

• Outfielder Rajai Davis, who headed into Sunday's game mired in a 2-for-30 cold spell, was held out of the lineup. Francona said the day off is to let Davis "take a deep breath" before returning to the lineup for Monday's game against Cincinnati.

• Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (on the 15-day disabled list with an injured left hamstring) is scheduled to throw off the mound in a bullpen session on Monday. If everything goes well with that workout, Carrasco's next step could be a simulated game.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.