- Associated Press - Monday, July 18, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) - A season of struggle for Yan Gomes has worsened.

Cleveland’s starting catcher could miss two months after separating his right shoulder, an injury that may force the AL Central-leading Indians to make a trade before the Aug. 1 deadline for deals without waivers.

Gomes got hurt Sunday when he took a hard fall while running to first base in the fifth inning against Minnesota. After he tried to avoid being tagged by first baseman Kennys Vargas, Gomes stumbled and crashed hard on his shoulder.

The Indians said the 28-year-old Gomes does not need surgery at this time, but that he will be sidelined for at least one month. The team said Gomes did not hurt his right knee, which he injured last season and missed 37 games.

“I don’t know if we really expected anything,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “It’s an ACL shoulder separation, probably six to eight weeks. The good news is it doesn’t look like he needs surgery, but it’s going to have to heal.”

“His knee was intact and everything is OK there, so that is good. I think that is what (trainer) James (Quinlan) thought, but you’ve got to have the doctors look at it.”

It’s been a rough year for Gomes, who is hitting just .165 with eight homers and 32 RBIs in 71 games.

While he has been solid while handling Cleveland’s pitching staff, the club was counting on much more offensive production from Gomes, who hit 21 homers in 2014.

To take Gomes’ roster spot, the Indians activated catcher Roberto Perez from the 60-day disabled list. Perez had been out since April 30, when he broke his right thumb while tagging a runner in Philadelphia. He had surgery on May 6.

Perez, who started 61 games last season and was in the lineup Monday, will likely slide back into the starting lineup with Chris Gimenez backing him up.

Perez, who played in only four games before the injury, went 5 for 16 in nine games with three different clubs on his minor league rehab assignment. Francona said Perez would play every-other-day for a while.

“It’s not good losing your catcher, but thankfully we have somebody like Roberto,” Francona said. “In a perfect world, he could have played a little bit more, but he’s been out to nine (innings), but we’re not going to play him three or four in a row, that’s for sure. He’s not going to start out playing every day cause one he’s not ready to.”

“You don’t ever want to lose your catcher, but we have two catchers here that not only know the importance of calling the game, but they know how to do it. Our two catchers know every pitcher. And all of our pitchers like throwing to both of them and that really helps,” he said.

The Indians take the league’s best record into their three-game series starting Monday night at Kansas City. Cleveland leads the defending World Series champion Royals by eight games and is up 6½ games on second-place Detroit.

Also, the Indians recalled left-hander Kyle Crockett from Triple-A Columbus and optioned Cody Anderson to the Clippers.

This is Crockett’s second stint this season with Cleveland. He made 11 relief appearances from April 27-May 2.

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