Rehabbing Perez goes 5-for-5

Royals backstop scores four times, catches all nine innings

By David Heck / Special to | June 8, 2012 9:27 PM ET

After missing nearly three months due to an injury, Salvador Perez certainly hasn't taken long to get back in the swing of things.

The rehabbing Royals catcher went 5-for-5 with four runs scored on Friday, helping the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers roll to an 11-5 victory over the Round Rock Express.

Perez has collected seven hits in nine at-bats since beginning his rehab assignment Thursday.

All five of Perez's hits on Friday were singles. He showed the ability to go the other way, lining three of his base knocks to right field, while one was an infield hit and the other went to left.

Perez recorded his only RBI in the sixth, when he plated Wil Myers after the outfielder tripled. The Royals' No. 2 prospect, Myers was 2-for-5 and is hitting .325 in 22 games at Triple-A.

After serving as a designated hitter in his first game back, Perez worked behind the plate for all nine innings Friday. He caught Major League veteran Jonathan Sanchez, who improved to 1-1 after limiting the Express to three runs on five hits over five innings.

A highly rated defensive catcher, Perez showed he can carry a bat in the Majors last year when he hit .331 with 13 extra-base knocks in 39 games. The Royals signed him to a five-year contract extension in February and he was set to begin the season as the team's starting catcher.

The 22-year-old Venezuelan played in only eight Spring Training games, however, before he suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee while warming up a pitcher in the bullpen. He underwent surgery and was expected to be out 12-14 weeks.

Perez did not play at any lower levels before starting his rehab in Omaha -- a sign the Royals likely believe he's almost ready for the Majors.

David Heck is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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