CLEVELAND: Neither Oliver Perez nor Neil Ramirez was on the Indians’ 40-man roster as of May 14, but in less than six weeks, it has been those two who have played key roles in stabilizing the bullpen.

Perez, who was signed on June 2, posted a 1.17 ERA in 7⅔ innings entering Sunday’s game. Ramirez, who had his contract selected from Triple-A on May 15, owns a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings. Together, they have offered the Indians a lefty-righty combo to help the likes of Dan Otero and Zach McAllister bridge the gap to Cody Allen with Andrew Miller, Tyler Olson, Nick Goody, Evan Marshall and Ben Taylor all on the disabled list.

“Those two guys have been huge for us,” Allen said. “Neil has pitched himself into a nice little spot. He’s got really, really good stuff. He’s got a lot of confidence, as he should. … Oliver has done this a few times before. … Those two guys in those roles are extremely — they’ve been huge for us, kind of providing a bit of fluidity in how the bullpen works. It’s kind of helped out everybody else, having those guys step in. You’re seeing other guys pitch well as well.”

In May, the Indians’ bullpen was the worst in baseball with an 8.01 ERA. In June, it’s been back to its normal level with a 2.92 ERA, despite Miller and so many others unavailable. Perez and Ramirez, in the meantime, have allowed Indians manager Terry Francona to play the matchups to get to the ninth.

“With Neil, I don’t see any reason — he’s going to give up runs — I don’t see any reason he can’t be successful,” Francona said. “His breaking ball is much better, and he’s always had velocity. I know he walked a guy [Saturday night], but he pounds the strike zone. Gets exciting. The reliever world can get a little volatile, as we’ve seen, but then you hit on guys, it sure helps.”

In the case of Olson, who hit the disabled list with a strained lat on June 17, it might have been a case of a pitcher trying to gut his way through an injury and making it worse. Francona said he eventually noticed that Olson was gritting his teeth as he threw.

“We had a talk the day before yesterday. He popped his head in, and we were kind of walking through how this happened and why,” Francona said. “He’s a really tough kid, and he takes so much pride in being available, probably to the point where he hurt himself. And we tried to explain to him how much we appreciate the fact that guys want to pitch, but that he also has a career ahead of him. So, we walked through that a little bit. He’s such a conscientious kid. I think he understands that.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ.