KC Royals: 3 key takeaways from the Toronto series

(Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Brady Singer
(Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports) /

The KC Royals just beat Toronto three times. Here are some things to ponder.

Toronto, a team riddled with injuries and struggling to be relevant, arrived in Kansas City late last week hoping to find its way in a four-game series with the KC Royals. Instead, the battered Blue Jays headed to Boston early Sunday evening the losers of three of those games while the Royals, enjoying first place in the American League Central, are four games over .500 for the first time since 2017.

Kansas City beat the Jays Thursday night, rested Friday when rain washed out that evening’s game, lost the first game but won the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader, then shut out Toronto Sunday.

The series, especially the final two games, made one thing perfectly clear—this is Salvador Perez’s team. He is its undisputed leader, heart, and soul, the one player it can’t presently do without.

Coming off a stellar series against the Angels in which he was a torrid 8-for-12 with four RBIs, ended a game with a rifle-shot throw to third to catch the runner for the final out, and collected his 1,000th career hit, Perez didn’t let a slow 0-for-7 start against Toronto bother him.

He blasted a Joel Payamps two-out, seventh inning slider 459 feet into the left field fountains to walk off the Jays in the second game of Saturday’s twinbill:

The homer completed a 2-for-4 night for Perez, and he was ready with more for the Jays in Sunday’s final game. Quiet (0-for-4) until the seventh, Perez hit T.J. Zeuch’s first pitch into the fountains to break a scoreless tie and give the KC Royals all they’d need for their third win of the series:

Perez now leads the club in homers with five and slugging percentage at .618; he’s tied for the team RBI (11) and runs scored (10) leads with Whit Merrifield, and with Carlos Santana for third in OBP (.339).

It appears Perez intends to prove his spectacular 2020 was no outlier.

What else is there to take away from this series?