Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/24/12
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The one constant in the Cleveland Indians' season, through all the ups and downs within the rotation and the ups but mostly downs within the offense, has been the performance of the bullpen. Specifically, the back of the bullpen.

That would be closer Chris Perez and setup man Vinnie Pestano. Together they are about as close to being a sure thing as any bullpen tandem in the American League. On Monday night, Pestano and Perez combined to put the finishing touches on Cleveland's 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles, which snapped the Indians' four-game losing streak.

Pestano relieved starter Justin Masterson and got the last two outs of the eighth inning, then passed the baton to Perez for the ninth. The closer retired the side in order to pick up his 27th save.

In his role as Perez's setup man, Pestano has inherited 14 baserunners in 43 appearances. None of them have scored. Pestano is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA while averaging 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings and holding opposing batters to a .172 average.

Perez is 27-for-29 in save situations, and the more dicey the situation, the better he is. With runners in scoring position, opposing batters are hitting .120 against Perez. Earlier this season, he converted 24 consecutive save situations, the second-longest streak in club history.

In games in which Pestano and Perez both appear, the Indians' record is 28-3. When Cleveland is leading after the seventh inning, its record is 41-2. Most of that is due to the duo the Indians' two near-automatic relievers.

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