In a thrilling 5-3 victory against the Cleveland Guardians on Monday night, Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals etched his name in baseball history. With a powerful swing in the sixth inning, he became only the 10th player in Major League Baseball (MLB) history to hit 200 home runs as a catcher. This remarkable feat further solidifies Perez’s place among the greats of the game.
Perez’s two-run blast off Logan Allen in the sixth inning propelled the Royals to a 4-0 lead. The 31-year-old catcher has spent his entire 12-season career with the Royals, accumulating an impressive total of 240 home runs. However, he still has a long way to go before surpassing the legendary Mike Piazza, who holds the MLB record for most home runs as a catcher with 396.
Despite the significance of his achievement, Perez remained humble and focused on the team’s success. Unbeknownst to him, he only discovered the milestone after the game. He expressed his joy, saying, “Every time we win and I hit a homer, I feel better. I like to compete every day and do my best.” Perez’s dedication to his craft and his team’s triumphs make him an invaluable asset to the Royals.
Perez Continues to Shine as a Catcher
Salvador Perez’s excellence extends beyond his home run prowess. As an eight-time All-Star and the 2015 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) with the Kansas City Royals, Perez has firmly established himself as one of the premier catchers in the game. He joins an elite group of catchers, as one of only 21 players to have recorded 500 or more extra-base hits in their careers.
This season, Perez has been in sensational form, belting 17 home runs, which is tied for the second-most among catchers whose primary position is behind the plate. He shares this distinction with Atlanta’s Sean Murphy, trailing only the New York Mets’ Francisco Alvarez, who leads the pack with 19 home runs. Perez’s offensive contributions and defensive prowess make him an indispensable asset to the Royals’ organization.
The Royals’ manager, Matt Quatraro, acknowledges Perez’s immense impact on the team, stating, “Everyone knows what a big part of the organization that Salvy is, and he continues to be one.” Quatraro’s praise further highlights Perez’s significance to the Royals’ success.
In addition to Perez’s incredible achievement, the game saw another standout performance from Ryan Yarbrough. The left-handed pitcher, who had a shutout going into the sixth inning, secured his second victory against the Cleveland Guardians in just 15 days. Yarbrough’s resilience and control were on full display as he struck out one batter and did not issue a single walk. Despite being struck on the face by a line drive earlier in the season, Yarbrough showed remarkable composure and skill.
On the opposing side, rookie left-hander Logan Allen had a solid outing, matching his season highs with seven innings pitched. However, he allowed five runs, including two home runs, for the first time in his career. Allen acknowledged Perez’s skill, saying, “I was trying to go up against Perez, but pulled it down and he put a good swing on it. That’s why he is as good as he is.” Although the Guardians were efficient, the Royals capitalized on their opportunities, ultimately securing the victory.
Salvador Perez’s 200th home run as a catcher serves as a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication to the game. As he continues to make strides in his career, he solidifies his place among the all-time greats. With his unwavering commitment to the Kansas City Royals, Perez will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy in the world of baseball.