"It feels good, feels awesome," Perez said following the win. "This is my first year in the Fall League, and it was a good first day. I worked all year for this opportunity."
Salt River's Braxton Lee and Victor Reyes opened the game with back-to-back singles ahead of Brian Mundell, who put the Rafters on the board when he pushed across Lee on a ground-ball double play.
Surprise responded with three consecutive singles to begin the bottom half of the first inning, with Oscar Mercado plating leadoff man Nicky Lopez with a line-drive hit to left field. Chris Paul followed with another run-scoring single, giving the Saguaros the lead before recording an out.
The Rafters snatched the lead right back in their next trip to the plate on a two-run double by Perez that scored Ryan Mountcastle and Corey Ray. Ray, MLBPipeline.com's No. 58 overall prospect and No. 2 on the Brewers' Top 30, had hit an opposite-field double earlier in the frame.
Perez's perfect showing at the plate follows an impressive regular-season campaign in which he posted a career-best .279/.365/.424 line over 80 games with Double-A Jackson before advancing to Triple-A Reno and going 4-for-9 with three extra-base hits in three games. He also went 3-for-3 in his lone playoff start for the Aces.
"It took a little time, but this year I stayed more focused and stayed more consistent, looking for my pitch and staying with my plan. [Jackson manager] J.R. House really helped me a lot, too," said the 25-year-old catcher.
On the mound for the Saguaros, starter Sandy Alcantara (Cardinals' No. 9) allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks in two innings. Left-hander Tyler Jay (Twins' No. 8), on the other hand, impressed by tossing a perfect inning with two strikeouts in his Fall League debut.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.