Salvador Perez unleashing barrage of home runs during Kansas City Royals home stand

Lynn Worthy
The Kansas City Star (TNS)
Kansas City Royals designated hitter Salvador Perez hits a home run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning June 3 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In recent days, Salvador Perez's bat has been as potent as it ever has been, and that's saying a lot for a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner with four 20-home run campaigns on his résumé.

Perez jumped on first-pitch fastballs from Minnesota Twins pitcher J.A. Happ and smashed each for home runs in the first and fifth innings of the Kansas City Royals' 6-5 win in the opening game of a four-game series Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

His first home run went an estimated 456 feet to center field, while the second traveled 365 feet to right field as he showed off some of his opposite-field power.

Asked if he feels like he's able to put the ball over the fence each at-bat, Perez replied, "I've got to feel that way. If not, I'm in the wrong sport. I've got to be positive and feel that way. If they make mistakes, I'm going to hit it pretty hard. That's why we're here in the big leagues."

The Royals (28-26) had a scheduled day off Wednesday, but Perez also homered twice in their victory over the Pirates on Tuesday night. That's four homers in six at-bats to push his season total to 15.

Perez, an all-MLB catcher, and San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. are the only players in the majors this season with multiple homers in consecutive games.

"I always say good things are going to happen, bad things are going to happen," Perez said. "The only thing I try to do is the best I can do to help my team to win. When the bad things happen, find a way to make it one game, two games, and that's it. Get it out of the way and then good things are going to come."

Perez is on a pace to hit 42 home runs, which would be a single-season career high and the second highest total in franchise history behind Jorge Soler's 48-home run season in 2019.

Perez joined Mike Sweeney (May 1-3, 2005), Darrell Porter (Sept. 7-8, 1977) and Ed Kirkpatrick (Sept. 28-30, 1969) as the only Royals players with back-to-back multi-homer games.

"His power is ridiculous, just even watching it in batting practice," Royals backup catcher Cam Gallagher said. "The first one he hit, it wasn't even a strike and it went 460 feet. But we've been seeing that all year. He plays with a big smile on his face and a lot of energy. We all feed off of that."

His 38 RBIs lead the Royals, as do his 15 home runs. He entered the night with six game-winning RBIs, which tied for fourth-most in the American League.

Perez's single-season career high for home runs is 27, which he set in 2017 and matched again in 2018. He hit 11 home runs in 37 games last season to win his third Silver Slugger honor.

"He's using his legs maybe better than I've ever seen him, now I haven't been around here forever, but there's a big difference in the way the ball is carrying for him," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "That ball he hit in the first. There's not many people that go there from the right side. That's impressive."