Chris Perez needed just three pitches to pick up his 6th save of the season on Wednesday night against the Royals. It was the Indians first three-pitch save since Danys Baez had one, also against the Royals, in 2002.
Baseball-reference has pitch count data back through 80s and some data here and there before that. Their Play Index turns up 21 other three-pitch saves for the Indians, but only two three-out, three-pitch saves.
The first belongs to Doug Jones, who retired needed just three pitchers to retire – who else- the Royals on May 4, 1989. However, that one is a little quirky because Jones only faced two batters. John Farrell came out to pitch the 9th, looking for a shutout, but the first two batters reached base. Jones then entered the game and induced a double-play off the bat of Jim Eisenreich and then got Danny Tartabull to ground out to short.
A very similar situation arose for Bob Wickman in 2001 against the Tigers. He entered the game with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, and picked up the first out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Dean Palmer. The next batter, Deivi Cruz, then hit into a game-ending double play.
Those are the only two three-pitch saves the Play Index turns up in which the closer faced more than one batter.