Rehabbing Perez goes deep for Naturals

Royals catcher lifts solo shot, spends four innings behind plate

Salvador Perez put on a Northwest Arkansas uniform for the first time since 2011. (Shawn E. Davis/MiLB.com)

By Chris Bumbaca / MiLB.com | April 15, 2018 9:40 PM

Ten days ago, Salvador Perez was inducted in the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals Hall of Fame. The rehabbing Royals catcher provided a reminder of why he earned that honor Sunday.

Perez, who hadn't donned a Naturals jersey since 2011, smacked a homer and caught four innings behind the plate in Northwest Arkansas' 3-2 victory over San Antonio at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium. The five-time All-Star and 2015 World Series MVP was making the first appearance of his rehab assignment following a Grade 2 MCL tear in his left knee.

Video: Rehabbing Perez homers for Naturals Facing Missions right-hander Jesse Scholtens, Perez led off the third inning with a solo homer to left-center field. Hitting third in the lineup, he also lined out to second base in his first at-bat of the game and grounded out to third in the fifth before exiting the game.

The Royals' plan, according to manager Ned Yost, called for Perez to catch three to five innings Sunday, then serve as the designated hitter during Monday's contest before catching another three to five innings Tuesday. Yost does not anticipate a lengthy stint in the Minors for Perez.


Gameday box score


"Probably won't be that long," he told MLB.com on Saturday. "I know he's anxious to get back."

Kansas City placed the 27-year-old on the 10-day disabled list on March 29 after he suffered the injury carrying his suitcase up a flight of stairs upon his return home from Spring Training.

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Perez became the fifth player inducted into the team's Hall of Fame on April 5. The Venezuela native played only 79 games in the Texas League, batting .283 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs.

Sixth-ranked Royals prospect Nicky Lopez singled and scored once for the Naturals.

Josh Naylor drove in a run with a single and walked twice. San Diego's 16th-ranked prospect leads the Minors with six homers.

Chris Bumbaca is a contributor for MiLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @BOOMbaca. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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