Indians prospect pitches Double-A perfect game|Gomez was moved from Kinston earlier in season

Published 9:56 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

By By The Associated Press
TRENTON, N.J. — Cleveland Indians prospect Jeanmar Gomez had been nearly perfect since being promoted to Double-A Akron.
On Thursday, he was.
Gomez pitched the first perfect game in franchise history, shutting down Trenton 3-0 in the Eastern League.
With his pitches breaking in every direction, the 21-year-old righty retired all 27 batters without much trouble and struck out eight. He is 4-0 with an 0.31 ERA since moving up from Class A earlier this season.
‘‘It was a great experience,’’ Gomez said through interpreter and pitching coach Ruben Niebla. ‘‘The ball hit by the last batter, I didn’t see until I turned around and he had it in his glove. I’ve never experience this before. It’s beautiful.’’
Left fielder Matt McBride made a diving catch on Kevin Smith’s liner leading off the ninth inning.
‘‘I was going to dive no matter what, even if it was 20 feet away,’’ McBride said. ‘‘Luckily, I made the play. I felt I could get to it. There was a lefty up and the ball was tailing back to me. I was just going at it hard and realized as I got closer that I had a shot at making the catch. It was amazing to be part of that.’’
Gomez then struck out Jose Gil and got Justin Snyder on a fly ball to McBride, setting off a wild pileup on the mound.
The crowd of 6,344 at the home of the New York Yankees’ affiliate applauded Gomez’s effort.
The 6-foot-4 Gomez has allowed one earned run in 29 innings since joining the Aeros. He has given up nine hits and one walk while striking out 27.
Gomez fanned five of the final eight Trenton batters. Gomez threw first-pitch strikes to 21 hitters.
Cleveland signed him as an undrafted free agent from Venezuela. He is 23-19 in a four-year pro career. Gomez was 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA at Kinston of the Carolina League earlier this season.
‘‘This is most exciting game I’ve ever been a part of, and I had the best seat,’’ catcher Damaso Espino said. ‘‘It’s fun to know that everything you call, in or out, he was going to hit his spot. He did for nine innings. It was unbelievable.’’
The game started at 11:05 a.m. and by early afternoon, Gomez was done.
‘‘I knew what was happening, but didn’t think about it until the last hitter. Then I saw the finish line, and I felt pressure to execute a pitch. I was happy to get it.’’