3 key things need to happen before July for the KC Royals

Kansas City can get better if thse things occur in June.
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Their 12 straight games against first-place clubs finally ended Sunday for the KC Royals. Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, two prime examples of how big-money teams use virtually unlimited purchasing power to build perennial winners, combined for three homers to lift the Dodgers to a 3-0 win on their home field.

The loss saddled the Royals with their seventh loss in those 12 tough games, a rugged dozen-contest trial by fire that probably won't alone determine whether the club makes the playoffs for the first time since 2015. It could have been better, but it could have been much, much worse; fortunately, the Royals, who won 17 games in both April and May but are 6-8 in June, hung on to second place in the American League Central and lost only a game in the standings to first-place Cleveland.

In an ideal world, the club would now return to Kauffman Stadium to recharge, but that's a friendly venue it won't see until next Monday. Starting tonight, the Royals have three games with the A's in Oakland, then three against the World Champion Rangers in Arlington before they close out the month at home with three games against Miami and four key contests with the Guardians.

And one of three key things KC must accomplish to regain its April-May momentum before July involves those Guardians.

But first things first...

The KC Royals need to get Salvador Perez back on the beam

Few things are more important to the club right now. Perez, who currently ranks second in fan voting for starting AL All-Star Game catcher, is hitting only .247 with four home runs and 19 RBI after ending April with a .355 average, .415 OBP, seven homers, and 26 RBI. He's hitting .159 this month.

Perez is, of course, an indispensable part of Kansas City's offensive surge this season. The Royals' quest for a possible playoff berth will be rocky, and quite possibly unsuccessful, without his return to early-season form.

Moving on...