Jul 8, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) hits a two run RBI single during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Kansas City Royals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Salvador Perez Home Run Lifts Royals to 5-4 Victory

For a while, it appeared as though tonight’s game would be another example of the Royals squandering their chances in a difficult loss. Instead, Salvador Perez hit a three run home run in the top of the ninth to bring the Royals back to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The game started well for the Royals. Although Rays starter Alex Cobb struck out the first two batters he faced, Eric Hosmer followed with a line drive home run to right to give the Royals a quick 1-0 lead. The Royals continued to have their chances, putting runners on base through each of the first three innings, but Cobb was able to work out of trouble each time.

With Yordano Ventura on the mound, however, it seemed as though that one run may be enough. While he struggled with his control at times over the first three frames, Ventura was still inducing weak contact, allowing him to escape unscathed as well.

Kansas City had another prime opportunity to add to the lead in the top of the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. Raul Ibanez forced in a run with a ground out to first, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead. However, that was all they would get, as Danny Valencia lined out to third and Alcides Escobar struck out to end the threat.

The Rays made that inability to get any more runs on the board come back to haunt the Royals in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Ventura walked Jose Molina on a boardline 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Up came Kevin Kiermaier, and with a 1-2 count, Ventura made a mistake. His changeup floated in belt high right down the middle of the plate, and Kiermaier hammered it to right for a grand slam, giving Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead.

The Royals kept threatening, but were unable to get any closer. Twice, they had two runners on and even loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, but were unable to push across any runs to cut the deficit. It seemed as though the game was just going to be another wasted opportunity and a tough loss.

Then came the top of the ninth. After Aaron Crow skated through a rough bottom of the eighth, Jarrod Dyson led off the inning with a base hit, stealing second on the next pitch. After an out, Dyson stole third without a throw. Hosmer walked, bringing up Salvador Perez with runners on the corners. In came Kirby Yates to try to close out the game for Tampa Bay, but Perez had other plans, lifting Yates’ 0-1 offering over the wall in left to put the Royals in front 5-4.

Greg Holland made that score hold up, striking out two of the three batters he faced to preserve the victory. Crow got the win, pitching a scoreless inning despite giving up a hit and walking two batters. Perez was 2-5, scoring two runs and hitting the game winning three run home run.

Omar Infante was 3-4 with a walk in the victory.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Salvador Perez

  • cardsfanatik

    And how many times has it been said that this team doesn’t need power to win? Sure as hell looks like power wins games to me though. Send Hosmer to Omaha. Trade Butler for whatever. Trade for Adam Dunn (DH), he won’t cost much, and with his power his low average will still produce more runs than Butler. Then put together a package for another bat with a little pop. Marlon Byrd maybe? It doesn’t matter. What is here now isn’t working. And to the douche bag that’s going to get on here and rage about how I “hate this team” and yada yada. If I hated this team, mediocrity wouldn’t bother me. And that’s what this team is. MEDIOCRE. So you can kiss my ass in advance

    • Stan Colbert

      I am pretty sure we are stuck with Billy, because nobody wants him more than we do. A trade would be nice, maybe Holland and Aoki but not a lot of takers I don’t suppose. Did you notice last night Det. had 1 home run and about 50 doubles. That seemed to work for them.

      • cardsfanatik

        Lol. If the Royals would hit ANYTHING more than an occasional single, I would gladly take it. I think the ONLY reason Ibanez is here is a power thing. But if your putting your hopes in him, why not just get Dunn from Chicago? Low average but huge power. Won’t cost a ton. Would rather have him taking hacks and blundering around the OF than Raul. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved Ibanez, but he’s done. Billy isn’t producing, so DH Dunn, play Cain, Dyson, maybe trade for Byrd, but we need more offense. Plain and simple.

        • Stan Colbert

          Certainly agree with assessment! If Dunn, I’d want him to DH, so, what to do with Billy? He can’t have many takers. Trade Dyson and Aoki for good power right fielder, but who? Maybe the reason Colon was brought up was trade bait? I certainly don’t want a trade for another Maxwell type that has no oppertunity for playing time.