CLEVELAND (AP) — Salvador Perez became the 10th player in major league history to hit 200 homers as a catcher and Ryan Yarbrough allowed one run in six innings, lifting the Kansas City Royals to a 5-3 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Monday night.
Perez hit a two-run shot in the sixth off Logan Allen (4-3) to put Kansas City ahead 4-0. He has 240 total home runs in 12 seasons, all with the Royals. Hall of Famer Mike Piazza holds the big league record for homers as a catcher with 396.
“Every time we win and I hit a homer, I feel better,” said Perez, who didn’t know about the milestone until afterward. “I like to compete every day and do my best.”
Yarbrough (3-5), who carried a shutout into the sixth, won at Cleveland for the second time in 15 days. The left-hander struck out one and didn’t issue a walk in his third start since being struck on the face by a liner from Oakland’s Ryan Noda on May 7.
“The Guardians are an aggressive team, but don’t strike out much, so I tried to put them in positions where they had to swing the bat,” Yarbrough said. “I wanted to control what I could control.”
Edward Olivares had a two-run double and Maikel Garcia hit a solo homer for Kansas City, which ended a five-game skid and has the second-worst record in baseball (29-73). Scott Barlow gave up two hits in the ninth before retiring Myles Straw and Steven Kwan to pick up his 12th save.
Straw hit a two-run single in the seventh off Jose Cuas to pull Cleveland within 5-3. Josh Bell added an RBI single and Amed Rosario went 3 for 4, his 12th game with three hits or more, which tied the major league lead.
“We just had a tough time keeping the line moving,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “Yarbrough gave our lefties some difficulties.”
Cleveland fell four games behind first-place Minnesota in the AL Central. Earlier in the day, ace Shane Bieber was shifted to the 60-day injured list as he continues to battle right elbow inflammation.
Francona said the 2020 AL Cy Young winner has not experienced a setback but isn’t on track to return until mid-September. Bieber went 5-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 19 starts before getting hurt on July 9 against the Royals.
Rookie left-hander Allen matched his season highs with seven innings and five runs allowed, striking out five. He allowed two homers for the first time.
“I was trying to go up against Perez, but pulled it down and he put a good swing on it,” Allen said. “That’s why he is as good as he is. We were really efficient today, but they took advantage of some of those opportunities and jumped on them.”
Perez, an eight-time All-Star and the 2015 World Series MVP with Kansas City, is one of 21 catchers with 500 extra-base hits and has a team-best 17 home runs this season.
“Everyone knows what a big part of the organization that Salvy is,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “And he continues to be one.”
Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (right elbow strain), who was placed on the IL on June 17, will be permitted to pick up a baseball for the first time Thursday. … RHP Cal Quantrill (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen Saturday and has another scheduled for later this week.
Royals RHP Zack Greinke (1-10, 5.40 ERA) takes on Guardians RHP Aaron Civale (3-2, 2.71). Greinke has not won on the road since Aug. 13, 2021, when he was pitching for Houston at Angel Stadium.