Salvy on Target with career night at the plate

Finishes HR shy of cycle and is just 2nd Royals catcher with 5-hit game

Salvy on Target with career night at the plate

MINNEAPOLIS -- There's just something about Target Field that brings out the absolute best in Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

Perez went 5-for-5 -- the first five-hit game of his career -- in the Royals' 10-4 win over the Twins on Monday night. He now has a career .408 average in this ballpark (20-for-49).

Perez has no explanation for his success here.

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"I don't know," he said.

Neither does Royals manager Ned Yost.

"Sal had a great day," Yost said. "[Whit] Merrifield had a great day, Paulo [Orlando] had a great day. But they didn't have the great day that Salvy did -- five hits. He just really does a good job at this park. His numbers are astronomical in this park."

Perez on his bat, Cain joins in

Perez became the first Royals hitter to have a five-hit game since Billy Butler on Sept. 5, 2013. And Perez became just the second Royals catcher to have five hits in a game, joining Darrell Porter.

"We won the game," Perez said. "That's what makes it a little more exciting."

Perez said it was the first time at any level of baseball he has recorded five hits.

And, yes, Perez knew that when he came up in the ninth that all he would need is a home run to complete the cycle.

But it was a tough assignment, facing hard-throwing Kevin Jepsen.

"I thought about it a little bit," Perez said. "But Jepsen is tough. I tried to put the ball in play. I didn't try to think homer, and if it happens, it happens."

Perez, who had tripled in the seventh, singled sharply down the left-field line. He also had two other singles and a double.

It was all part of a 17-hit attack for the Royals -- a welcome sight to Perez.

"That's pretty good," Perez said. "I think everybody is trying to do the best they can do at the plate. It's a long season. Sometimes, it's going to be a struggle. Sometimes, it's going to be like tonight."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.