Salvador Perez Leads the Comeback as Royals Top Blue Jays 10-7
By David Hill
Apr 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) celebrates with left fielder Alex Gordon (4) after hitting a two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Salvador Perez had gone from being white hot at the start of the season to being ice cold a couple of weeks in. Now, Perez looks to be back to his sizzling pace as he helped key the Kansas City Royals 10-7 come from behind victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jose Bautista gave the Blue Jays an early lead on Jason Vargas and the Royals, as he crushed the third pitch of his at bat into the left field bleachers for a home run. Toronto threatened again in the top of the second, putting runners on first and second with one out before Vargas was able to escape the inning unscathed.
The Royals manufactured their offense in the bottom of the second, beginning with the unlikely source of Billy Butler. Butler singled, and moved up to second on Alex Gordon‘s walk. Butler tagged up on a fly ball to deep center, and scored on a wild pitch, showing off his speed as the Royals tied the game. Gordon, who moved up to second on that wild pitch, went to third on a fielder’s choice and scored when Dioner Navarro threw the ball into center on Alcides Escobar‘s stolen base.
Both Toronto starter Dustin McGowan and Vargas settled in from that point. With the rains increasing in intensity, and with the way that Vargas had been pitching this year, it appeared as though offense would be hard to come by. However, that all changed in the top of the fifth. With one out, Jose Reyes drove the ball to deep right. Nori Aoki appeared to have trouble tracking the ball, allowing it to hit off the heel of his glove for a double. Former Royal Melky Cabrera followed with another drive to deep right that Aoki appeared to have difficulty with, coming down for a triple to tie the game. A wild pitch plated Cabrera, and the Blue Jays took the lead once again.
That score held up until the top of the seventh. Colby Rasmus led off the inning with a double, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Reyes and Cabrera struck once again, as each drove in a run to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. That was the end of the night for Vargas, who gave up five runs on ten hits, striking out five over his 6.1 innings of work.
The Royals offense, which had been dormant for much of the night, woke up in the bottom half of the inning. Salvador Perez launched a two run home run to cut the lead to 5-4, as the Blue Jays shaky bullpen began to live up to its reputation. The floodgates opened in the bottom of the eighth, as the Royals scored six runs, highlighted by a two run double from Perez and a two run single by Omar Infante to give the Royals a 10-5 lead.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two run home run in the top of the ninth off Louis Coleman to cut into the lead, but the Royals managed to hold on for the victory. Aaron Crow picked up the win, pitching a scoreless inning of relief, giving up a hit and recording three outs on only five pitches.
Perez was the star of the game offensively, going 2-4 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. Aoki and Butler had two hits as well in the victory.