KC Royals announce dominant duo for player & pitcher of the month

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The KC Royals open up another homestand tonight against the 2023 World Series-winning Texas Rangers. This will be the team's first series opener in May, turning the page following a historic start to the season. The Royals posted a franchise-record 17 wins in April, which is the team's most wins in a month since June 2017.

Plenty of players stepped up and contributed throughout the month, but two stood out from the rest. The Royals announced Friday that catcher Salvador Perez is the Royals Player of the Month and pitcher Seth Lugo is the Pitcher of the Month for March/April. The two veterans led Kansas City's charge to start the season, and local media members rewarded them.

Salvador Perez, Seth Lugo lead the way for resurgent KC Royals

Perez returns to Kansas City with a 21-game on-base streak, the longest of his 13-year career, showcasing his consistent offensive contribution. He leads all AL batters with a .355 BA, while his 1.009 OPS sits second. He is helping bring runners home, notching an AL-leading 27 RBI so far this year.

“I’m just trying to do my job and help my team win,” Perez said to MLB.com's Anne Rogers. “You guys know me, I like to swing a lot. But it’s been pretty good. … Don’t try to swing at bad pitches. Know who’s behind me, if they’re going to pitch to me or not, try to be a little more patient.”

That patience is paying off, and it shows. In the Toronto series finale, he extended his strikeout drought to 36 plate appearances, which is the second-longest active streak in MLB. According to a team press release, "Perez struck out only 13 times in 30 games through the end of April for an 11.0 K%, which was the 5th-best rate in the American League and less than half the 24.1 K% he posted over the last three seasons from 2021–23."

Lugo has been productive in his own right, recording five quality starts in April. He is winning games by the margins, inducing grounballs, and limiting home runs, all at an elite rate. Ultimately, his 1.66 ERA in April ranked as the fifth-best among qualified AL starters, highlighting his effectiveness on the mound.

“I’m just filling up the strike zone and making the batter have to respect that I’m coming at you, I’m not going to pitch around guys,” Lugo said.

This is Perez's first Player of the Month selection since May 2023 and his eighth overall. He is now tied with fellow slugger Billy Butler for the fourth most selections since the award's inception in 1995. Lugo's first selection only makes his coming to Kansas City this past winter look even better. The Royals signed him to a three-year, $45 million contract this past offseason, so hopefully, this is the first of many accolades Lugo can add.

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