3 key things the KC Royals accomplished in June

The club did a trio of things it needed to last month.
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Back on June 18, when the KC Royals had just lost for the seventh time in 12 games and were on their way to dropping eight of their next 14, we identified three things they needed to accomplish before July — get Salvador Perez "back on the beam," get injured players Michael Macha and Michael Massey back in the lineup, and win their month-ending four game series with Cleveland.

Did Kansas City accomplish those tasks? Let's find out.

Salvador Perez seems to be turning things around

We touched on this very topic Sunday, but it bears repeating that Perez is showing signs of breaking free from the slump that's plagued him for over a month. Although he slashed only .194/.272/.344 and hit just four home runs in June, three of those homers came in the last seven games of the month, a span over which he also drove in seven runs and hit .267, including a 5-for-15 (.333) performance in the Royals' just-completed critical four-game series with Cleveland.

Back on the beam? Yes, it's looking that way.

Michael Wacha and Michael Massey returned to the club

Getting a key member of their rotation and their regular second baseman back from injuries was, as it would be for any team, important to the Royals. His fractured foot put Wacha on the Injured List June 2, where he joined Massey, who'd been there since May 26 with his second back problem of the season.

Fortunately, both returned and are playing again.

Wacha's pitched twice and well since rejoining the club June 22. He's surrendered only two runs and struck out 11 in 10.1 innings. Despite giving up just a run in 5.1 frames, he didn't earn the decision in the Royals' victory over Cleveland Friday. The right-hander is slated to pitch next when the Royals host Tampa Bay Wednesday evening.

Massey returned from his minor league rehab assignment last Monday and is 4-for-14 in five games in the designated hitter slot. He also hit his seventh homer of the season to account for half of Kansas City's runs in its 7-2 Saturday loss to the Guardians. Massey will continue to DH until he's deemed ready to play defense.

The KC Royals won a big series against a big team

Closing the month with a series win over Cleveland was the last of the trio of tasks we said Kansas City needed to accomplish before June ended, and the Royals did just that by taking three of four from the American League Central-leading club.

It all started Thursday evening when KC pushed across two runs in the sixth and held on to edge Cleveland 2-1. The Royals made it two in a row Friday night when, on the strength of homers by Perez, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Isbel, and Vinnie Pasquantino, they battered the Guardians 10-3.

The Guardians slipped in that 7-2 victory Saturday, but Kansas City roared back in Sunday afternoon's finale with a 6-2 win that clinched the series. The Royals are now 5-2 against Cleveland; the clubs meet next August 26 in Cleveland when they open a four-game set with a doubleheader.

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