ARLINGTON, Tex. — Even on one of his “off” days from working behind the plate, Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Pérez always seems to have an impact on the team’s lineup, normally serving as the team’s designated hitter in those situations. It also helps when his replacement at the dish also contributes outside of giving Pérez a respite from donning the “tools of ignorance,” and that was exactly what occurred on Sunday in helping the team snap a two-game skid.
Both Pérez, who has caught more games and innings than any other catcher in Major League Baseball since the beginning of 2013, along with his backup, Drew Butera, homered as the Royals salvaged a split of their four-game weekend series with 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on the eve of Memorial Day. Starting pitcher Jason Hammel struck out 10 over 5.1 scoreless innings to stifle the Rangers’ offense and make the Royals’ early runs stand.
After Kansas City first baseman Hunter Dozier hit a two-out, two-run single off of Rangers starter Cole Hamels to give the Royals a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Butera went deep for the first time this season with two outs in the second inning to extend the lead to 3-0.
One inning later, Pérez hit a two-run blast, his ninth of the season, to provide what would become the winning runs of the game. Pérez, Dozier and leadoff man Jon Jay each had two hits in the game as the top five in the Royals’ order went a combined 7-for-19 with four RBI and four runs scored.
All of Texas’ runs came in the seventh inning, with Joey Gallo hitting a solo home run and Robinson Chirinos delivering a two-run blast. Despite those hits, the Ranger offense could not come through with the clutch hit, as the team went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Capture Photography owner and photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 26 pictures in total.