Does Perez see the righty well?
"Yeah, lately," Perez said.
He said that with a smile, because Perez is well aware of their history. Both players agreed that Taillon held a decisive edge in their Minor League meetings, which were plentiful as Taillon worked his way up the Pirates' chain and Perez toiled in the Tigers' system.
Earlier this season, Taillon told reporters, "I'm pretty confident I owned him in the Minor Leagues. I don't know. Now is when it counts, and he's gotten me a couple times."
Was Perez aware Taillon said that?
"Yeah, he did. I read that," Perez said. "I have it in the book right here."
He pointed to the top shelf of his locker.
"Now it counts," Perez said. "I'm watching the ball good against him and going with a plan to the plate."
"He's always been a good hitter," Taillon said. "He's always put together good at-bats. I felt like I had pretty good success against him in the Minor Leagues. I've done it to myself. I threw him a flat 0-1 changeup tonight [in the first inning, when Perez hit a three-run home run] and then I fell behind him [in the third, when Perez hit a solo shot].
"That's tough when you fall behind guys. Credit to him for hitting my mistakes, but I'm not making my pitches to him."
Asked whether Taillon's "I owned him" quote had provided some motivation, Perez smiled again.
"Yeah, of course," he said.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Pirates on Saturday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.