Indians' Yan Gomes goes 0-for-2 after 'ceremony' to end slump

— -- With catcher Yan Gomes mired in a season-long slump, the Cleveland Indians went to extra lengths Saturday to help their veteran catcher.

And they took a page from the movie "Major League" to do it.

The Indians held what second baseman Jason Kipnis described as a "sacrificial ceremony" for Gomes in the clubhouse before their game against the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis.

It included a chicken offering to the baseball gods and Jobu.

A blessing was said, with veteran Mike Napoli asking Jobu to "absolve Yan Gomes of any wrongdoings he may have committed to thee."

The ceremony concluded with Gomes slicing a store-bought chicken in half with a knife.

Gomes entered Saturday's game batting .163 this season, with just one hit since June 29 and no extra-base hits since June 25.

Kipnis told reporters that Friday night's game, in which Gomes went 0-for-4, was the "line in the sand" for the catcher's struggles.

"We bought a chicken from [Target]," Kipnis told reporters, according to "We bought a little blade and we had him chop it in half. We sacrificed a chicken to the baseball gods and Jobu. We gave them gifts and peace offerings. Hopefully, they'll accept them and turn the tide on our catcher."

One game in, the ceremony hasn't produced immediate results for Gomes. He was not in the starting lineup for Saturday night's 5-4 loss, but entered in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter and flied out. He flied out again in the 11th, then committed an error at home plate in the bottom half of the inning that allowed the Twins to score the winning run.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona laughed out loud when asked about the exorcism before the game.

"I thought that was probably clubhouse humor to the nth degree,'' Francona said. "It's probably stuff that you don't do in the normal workplace, but I thought it was good. It showed Gomer how much they care about him, which is good."

The Indians entered the day with 53 wins, second most in the American League. Maybe Jobu has helped. Next to Kipnis' home locker, there's a shrine straight out of "Major League" featuring two Jobu dolls and three airport bottles of Bacardi rum.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.