7/31/2013 12:37 A.M. ET
Giambi 'grateful' to still be playing baseball
By Jordan Bastian and Mark Emery / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Jason Giambi has joked with his wife that he will keep playing baseball until someone tears the uniform off his body. If someone ever tried to actually do that to the aging slugger, it would not be an easy task.
"I'd fight him first," Giambi said with a laugh.
On Tuesday, the 42-year-old Giambi spent time discussing the pinch-hit home run one night earlier that sent the Indians to a 3-2 victory over the White Sox. With his ninth-inning blast into the bushes beyond the center-field wall at Progressive Field, Giambi became the oldest player in baseball history to launch a walk-off.
Hammerin' Hank Aaron previously held that record.
"That's pretty unbelievable," Giambi said of breaking Aaron's mark. "It's unfathomable. I'm just grateful, and I thank God I'm still playing, to have this opportunity to be here."
Giambi signed a Minor League contract with the Indians shortly before Spring Training and needed a handful of roster decisions to align just right for him -- a pure designated hitter and pinch-hitter -- to crack the Opening Day roster. Giambi's season line (.194 average through 45 games) is not necessarily pretty, but he has been productive in his 124 at-bats.
"He kind of stays in the moment," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He's a good hitter. He's just got some mileage, so you can't really play him all the time. So you try to pick your spots where it's optimal for him, because he can still do some damage."
Entering Tuesday, Giambi was averaging one RBI per 5.17 at-bats, which ranked seventh among American League hitters with at least 120 at-bats. The six in front of him include Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Edwin Encarnacion, David Ortiz, Wil Myers and Mark DeRosa.
"I knew I could contribute," said Giambi, who had seven home runs and 24 RBIs heading into Tuesday's game. "The contribution sometimes, if you can put your ego in the back pocket, can be in different ways in this game that sometimes isn't on the scoreboard."
Francona has raved since the early stages of Spring Training about Giambi's leadership, but the manager said the veteran continues to raise the bar.
"He's been a blessing to everybody that's come in contact with him in the Indians organization," Francona said. "I was pleased that we were getting him. He was always one of my favorite guys ever since he was a young kid, but I didn't really know that he was this special."
Gomes happy to see fellow Brazilian in big leagues
CLEVELAND -- Yan Gomes turned around at his locker inside the Indians clubhouse and saw a group of reporters waiting for him. The young catcher smiled, knowing all too well what inquiries were going to be thrown his way.
"You guys don't even have to ask the question," Gomes said with a laugh. "I already know what the question is."
Tuesday marked the first time in Major League history that two Brazilian players appeared in the same game. Gomes, who wore a shirt with "Brasil" written across his chest, was in the starting lineup for the Indians and fellow Brazilian Andre Rienzo was on the mound for the White Sox. The Indians announced that the game was being broadcast on ESPN Brazil in the South American country.
Until Tuesday's game, Gomes had been the only player from his homeland to reach the big leagues.
"It's just another big step for what we've been talking about, getting Brazil on the map," Gomes said. "It's going to be exciting. We're both kind of nervous. I'm even kind of nervous, and I've been up here for a little bit already. It'll be exciting to see what he does. Hopefully, he sticks around."
Gomes, who played with Rienzo in the qualifying round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, said having two Brazilians square off in a Major League game was a historic moment.
"You never would've heard that for baseball," Gomes said. "I've already had people tweeting me and sending me emails about it. They know what's going on. The whole country, I'm sure not all of them know. I'm sure the people know who have been keeping up with baseball in Brazil."
Earlier this month, Brazilian soccer legend Pele sent a tweet to Gomes, congratulating the young catcher on his success.
"I'm sure Pele is going to tweet him, too, now," Gomes joked. "Best of luck to him. It's exciting to see what's happening now. Hopefully, kids in Brazil look up to us going on now and the sport grows over there."
Rienzo allowed three runs (all unearned) over seven innings in a no-decision. Gomes went 1-for-2 against with a walk and a strikeout against his countryman in the Tribe's 7-4 comeback win.
Masterson goes a cut above for charity
CLEVELAND -- For Justin Masterson and James Godshall, hair is overrated.
Godshall, a 14-year-old from Willowick, Ohio, had his head shaved by Masterson in the Indians dugout on Tuesday before Cleveland hosted the White Sox. The youngster's latest haircut came after his father won an auction in May through Tribe Treasures, one of two annual fundraisers put on by the Indians Wives Association. Masterson's wife, Meryl, made the "styling" abilities of her husband available for one lucky fan.
"It was pretty cool," Godshall said. "I was really wanting it to get this short. I just didn't know if it would actually happen."
Godshall didn't find out his ears would be lowered by a Major League player until last week, when his father revealed it to him for his birthday. The timing couldn't have been better, as Godshall has swim championships coming up.
Before Masterson busted out the shaving cream and razor, he had to buzz Godshall's head with a set of clippers. After removing a few prominent clumps of hair, the All-Star pitcher stopped and said, "There ya go! It's perfect."
Masterson, a perennial jokester, continued the trimming, all the while answering questions about his own hair history. Growing up, he wanted to either have dreadlocks or a shaved head. Long hair wasn't very becoming on him, so the Mr. Clean look he donned for Halloween one year stuck.
And now, thanks to his efforts, Masterson has a bald buddy.
"We could have had some more stuff as far as a hot towel and some other things that would have made this a perfect head shave," Masterson said. "But for the overall sense, he didn't bleed too much, which is always a tough thing the first time you shave a head. I think it went well. He looks good, and it's nice and smooth."
Quote to note
"I think that would be the biggest shame of everything I've been through in this game, to not pass it on. I think that would be the biggest crime. I love it, and I get so excited for them when they grow."
--Giambi, on being a leader in the clubhouse
• Following a pair of one-inning rehab outings with the Rookie-level Arizona League Indians, right-hander Josh Tomlin, rejoined the Tribe on Tuesday. Francona said it is a "possibility" that Tomlin could rejoin the big league pitching staff before the end of this season.
"He's starting to pitch now," Francona said. "I think it's good for him [to be here with the team]. I think his teammates love seeing him and it gets him back in this atmosphere a little bit between starts. And it gets him with our medical staff."
• Second-base umpire D.J. Reyburn called Alexei Ramirez safe on a stolen-base attempt in the eighth inning on Monday, but replays clearly showed Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis applying the tag before the runner made contact with the bag. Under the circumstances, Francona was asked for his view on potentially increasing the use of instant replay.
"I don't know," Francona said. "There's probably a way down the road where they'll figure out how to do it. I just don't think anybody has come up with the exact way to do it. Part of the fun of our game -- not when you're on the bad side, I know that's hard -- is umpires and managers and plays. And they're actually pretty good. There's so much replay that they have to be."
• Heading into Tuesday's game with the White Sox, the Indians starting rotation had gone a combined 8-2 with a 1.84 ERA (22 earned runs in 107 2/3 innings) in 17 games, dating back to July 8. Cleveland's pitching staff as a whole has a Major League-best 2.07 ERA in that same span.
• On Tuesday, the Indians named High Class A Carolina right-hander Nick Pasquale the organization's Minor League Player of the Week for July 21-28. During that time period, Pasquale went 2-0 with 13 shutout innings across a pair of starts for the Mudcats.
• On Tuesday, the White Sox scored first against the Indians, ending Cleveland's franchise-record streak of 16 straight games in which it scored the first run. The previous club record of 15 was set in July 1906. The Indians' 16-game run was the longest in the Majors since the Brewers scored first in 21 straight games in 1990.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.