Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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Perez knocks in three as Royals edge Rangers

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[September 02, 2014]  KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After driving in 20 runs in August, his career high for a month, Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is off to a similarly strong start in September.

Perez stroked three hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs to lead the Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

"A pretty good day," Perez said. "Tomorrow is going to be a new day. I just try to stay in my approach, let the ball come to me and try to put a good swing on the ball."

Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura (11-9) held the Rangers to three runs, two earned, on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked four.

"He was pretty good," Perez said. "He walked a couple of guys, and I go out there and tell him to calm down. Everybody knows he throws hard, but sometimes he needs to come down a little bit (on his velocity). I think he got a little tired in the seventh inning."

Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth to pick up his 41st save. Wade Davis worked a spotless eighth to run his scoreless streak to 27 2/3 innings.

Texas starter Colby Lewis (9-12) allowed four runs on nine hits, including Perez's two-run homer in the third, in his seven-inning outing.

"I could have hit that fastball out," Lewis said. "I'd be geared up, too, 2-0. I didn't hit my spot."


Kansas City jumped out to a 4-0 lead through four innings, then held off Texas' comeback attempt.

First baseman Adam Rosales doubled during the Rangers' two-run seventh, with catcher Tomas Telis and left fielder Michael Choice driving in runs with singles to trim Kansas City's lead to one run.

"He was throwing hard, but he gave us decent pitches to hit," Rosales said of Ventura. "It was nice to keep coming back, climbing back. We just came up short one run."

Rangers manager Ron Washington said of the Royals right-hander, "Sometimes he scatters his breaking ball and can get you out that way. A guy who throws that hard is hard to hit when he's able to make his pitches.

"We were finally able to get on Ventura a little in the sixth and seventh and got across a couple of runs, but it wasn't enough."

Perez staked the Royals to an early lead. His two-out, first-inning double scored left fielder Alex Gordon, who singled and stole second.

In the third, Perez drove a Lewis pitch over the left field fence, knocking in Gordon, who walked. It was Perez's 16th home run.

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Third baseman Mike Moustakas, who entered the game 3-for-23 on the homestand, singled home right fielder Carlos Peguero in the fourth. Peguero, a September call-up making his Royals debut after hitting 15 home runs in August with Triple-A Omaha, doubled to left.

"We scored some runs early and kind of let our defense and our bullpen (finish the job)," Moustakas said. "It's always nice to get the 'W' the first game of the series."

Ventura limited the Rangers to one hit -- third baseman Adrian Beltre's two-out single in the fourth -- in the first five innings.

Ventura pitched out of trouble in the second when he walked designated hitter Ryan Rua before Rosales reached on first baseman Eric Hosmer's error. Telis rolled into a double play on the first pitch to end the inning. Washington challenged the call, arguing that Telis beat the throw to first, but replay officials did not overturn the ruling on the field.

NOTES: The Royals activated 1B Eric Hosmer off the disabled list after he sat out August with a fractured right hand. ... Kansas City selected the contract of LHP Brandon Finnegan, the team's top pick in the June draft, from Double-A Northwest Arkansas, and the contract of OF Carlos Peguero from Triple-A Omaha. Peguero started in right. The Royals designated LHP Chris Dwyer and RHP Blake Wood for assignment to make roster space for Finnegan and Peguero. ... The Royals also recalled RHP Casey Coleman, INF Johnny Giavotella and C Francisco Pena from Omaha and OF Lane Adams from Northwest Arkansas. ... Texas LHP Derek Holland will start Tuesday, his first major league outing after having left knee surgery in January. Holland will be the 60th player used by the Rangers this season, a major league record. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-10) will pitch for the Royals.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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