But other than that, it's just another series for Perez and the Tribe.
"I couldn't care less," Perez said of returning to St. Louis for the first time since the Cardinals traded him in 2009. "It's just another game for me. I was just a middle reliever for them. It's not like I helped them win anything."
Perez was considered one of the Cardinals' future options at closer before he was dealt at the Trade Deadline. St. Louis eventually went with Jason Motte, who came up with Perez through the Cardinals' Minor League system. Perez has successfully converted 19 saves in a row for the Indians after blowing one on Opening Day.
After he left St. Louis, Perez grew into one of the American League's top closers.
"I closed a little bit for them, but they never really gave me my shot," Perez said. "It is what it is. I don't know all the details about the Trade Deadline, what happened. There's been some rumors that it was up to the Indians, that they could've picked me or Motte. I don't know. I don't care. I'm glad I got traded. I got my opportunity here."
The Indians (30-26), fresh off taking two out of three games from the Tigers, will send Josh Tomlin to the mound in the series opener against the Cardinals. Tomlin struggled early in his last start against the Twins, allowing four runs on five hits in the first inning alone. He's 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA on the season.
St. Louis counters with right-hander Jake Westbrook, who is 4-5 with a 4.23 ERA. Westbrook has struggled with his sinker of late, allowing 21 earned runs in his last 25 innings.
Just like Perez, Westbrook will be facing his former team. Pitching for the Indians from 2001-2010, Westbrook will take the mound for his first career start against the Tribe. Against the American League Central during Interleague Play last season, Westbrook was 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA.
"It's National League baseball for us," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "These guys are going to come in swinging the bats, we know that. They've been the big surprise in the league this year."
Indians: Sizemore still not close to return
Indians manager Manny Acta utters similar words every time injured center fielder Grady Sizemore comes up: There is no timetable for his return.
So while Sizemore has been eligible to be activated from the disabled list since last Sunday, he still doesn't appear to be close to a return.
"The process has been slowed down a little bit," Acta said on Thursday.
Sizemore hasn't played for the Indians this season after injuring his lower back late last year. He had been doing some running, hitting and throwing exercises, but head trainer Lonnie Soloff said Sizemore has discontinued some of his running in recent weeks. Soloff did say the team is still hopeful Sizemore will play this season.
Catcher Carlos Santana recorded his first hit since coming off the seven-day concussion list on Thursday against the Tigers. Santana is 1-for-12 with a walk and an RBI in three games since returning to the lineup.
Cardinals: Molina stays hot at plate
Catcher Yadier Molina was known more for his defense early in his career. He's always been one of the best National League catchers at throwing runners out, and he works well with the team's pitching staff.
But as Molina's game has progressed, he's quietly grown into a good hitter.
Molina is 15-for-39 with two home runs and nine RBIs in his last 11 games. On the season, Molina is hitting .328 with eight homers and 32 RBIs.
Right fielder Carlos Beltran has 16 home runs in 56 games this season. Beltran hit more than 16 home runs in only one season since 2009 (22 last season).
Indians lefty reliever Scott Barnes still hasn't allowed a hit in the Majors. Barnes pitched two perfect innings Thursday against Detroit, and has given up only two walks in his three total appearances (four innings).
Indians center fielder Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the eighth inning on Thursday against the Tigers.
Westbrook is 28-34 with a 4.37 ERA in 101 games (80 starts) against the AL Central.