Royals’ Pérez delivers with bat to finish big series

Avery Osen
Associated Press
Kansas City Royals Salvador Pérez salutes while rounding the bases after slugging a solo home run in the third inning of Wednesday's game at Kauffman Stadium. Pérez also doubled to help the Royals to a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels and finished the three-game series by going 8-for-12.

Salvador Pérez says all he’s trying to do is get better.

It may be tough for the Kansas City Royals catcher to accomplish that after his performance in a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels.

Pérez homered and doubled to cap off an impressive series, leading Brad Keller and the Kansas City Royals over the Angels 6-1 Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.

A day after picking off David Fletcher at third base to end a 3-2 win, Pérez drove in two runs. The All-Star catcher went 8-for-12 with four RBIs this week against Los Angeles.

"This game is about making adjustments and that's why we are in the big leagues," Pérez said. "I just try to get better and help my team win." 

Carlos Santana also homered – a two-run shot in the seventh inning – as the Royals took two of three from the Angels. It was the Royals' second series win of the year — it took them 14 tries to do that during the pandemic-shortened season.

Keller (1-1) went 5 2/3 innings and gave up one run and four hits, striking out five and walking one. That was a major step forward after he allowed 10 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in his first two starts.

"That was nice to have this outing," Keller said. "I just needed to get back to who I was and felt good today. I think being able to fix my mechanical stuff but also just competing and having the right mentality." 

The Royals bullpen of Jake Brentz, Josh Staumont and Tyler Zuber pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.

Griffin Canning (0-1) went five innings and permitted two runs and six hits.

"We had opportunities, but overall our pitching was pretty good," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "We just needed to score more runs." 

Pérez hit his third homer of the season, a solo drive in the third. Pérez doubled home Whit Merrifield in the seventh.

"He was huge for us today," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "This guy just continues to amaze us with how good he is."

Michael A. Taylor and Hunter Dozier each added two hits and scored a run.

Jared Walsh doubled home Mike Trout in the fifth, pulling the Angels within 2-1.

TRAINER'S ROOM 

 Angels: OF Justin Upton was scratched on Tuesday night and remained out of the lineup on Wednesday with back stiffness. 

 Royals: Reinstated RHP Josh Staumont off the injured list and optioned RHP Carlos Hernandez. OF Nick Heath was designated for assignment. 

UP NEXT 

Angels: Return home to take on Minnesota on Friday with Andrew Heaney on the mound (1-1, 7.00).

Royals: Continue their homestand with a four-game set that starts on Thursday with Jakob Junis (0-0, 0.00) starting against Toronto.