Catcher homers to open scoring in 6th, adds two-run double in 7th
By Scott Chasen
KANSAS CITY -- The tide turned on one at-bat: one pitch in fact.
Salvador Perez connected for a sixth-inning homer to left that halted a 33 1/3 scoreless innings streak by Tigers rookie Michael Fulmer and sent the Royals to a 10-3 win on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
"Once we took the 1-0 lead, we couldn't stop there," Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales said through interpreter Pedro Grifol.
Prior to the homer, Fulmer looked to be settling in, retiring seven straight at one point. He came into the game off four consecutive scoreless outings. However, once Perez got things started, the Royals never looked back. Two batters later, Fulmer was out of the game. Two innings later, the score didn't reflect what had been a pitchers' duel between Fulmer and Royals starter Yordano Ventura.
With Fulmer gone, the Royals put up nine runs over the seventh and eighth innings. Perez added a two-run double in a four-run seventh that broke it open.
"His next at-bat [after the home run] when he doubled in the right-center-field gap, that was a nasty pitch," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Just a great piece of hitting. ... That was huge at that point."
While his second hit may have done more damage, it seemed the consensus, minus one, was that Perez's home run was the biggest hit of the game.
After the homer, Ventura was able to take a step back, reset and lock back in.
"Once I saw that we took the lead, my mindset was to continue to be aggressive, attack the zone and go as far as I could," Ventura said. "Everybody knows the type of offense we've got. We'll go blank for a little bit and then all of a sudden we'll put up four or five."