"It feels like Opening Day to me," Perez said, smiling.
Perez, who was in the starting lineup and batting cleanup, hit a home run in his second at-bat in a 5-2 loss to the Brewers. He suffered a Grade 2 sprain in his left knee two days before Opening Day when he slipped going up his stairs while carrying his luggage. The original prognosis suggested Perez would miss at least 4-6 weeks. Perez is back on the low end of that estimate.
"You know me," Perez said. "I like to play hard and compete."
Gordon is recovering from a left hip labral tear. He, too, is back quicker than most thought. He started in left field on Tuesday after a brief rehab stint at Triple-A Omaha.
"I was only gone four days [in Omaha], but it felt like three weeks," Gordon said. "I wanted to get back soon."
To make room for Perez and Gordon, the Royals optioned catcher Cam Gallagher and outfielder Paulo Orlando to Omaha.
The Royals also placed struggling right-handed reliever Justin Grimm on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 22) because of lower back stiffness and recalled left-hander Eric Stout from Omaha.
After a promising start to 2018, Grimm gave up 16 runs in his last five relief outings. His ERA is 21.86.
"He's not getting it done right now," manager Ned Yost said. "And there's a reason he's not getting it done because he can't fire off his back side. We need to calm [his back] down so he can start firing off his back side again."
Stout held opponents to a .214 batting average in five relief outings for Omaha this season.
The Royals chose to keep outfielder Abraham Almonte over Orlando. Almonte hit two home runs on the recent road trip, including a grand slam on Sunday in Detroit.
"He's done a nice job out there defensively," Yost said. "Has been swinging the bat well. It was a hard decision, but we went with him."
Umpire charity auction Major League Baseball (MLB) umpires will offer up more than 300 items that include priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, and upgraded ticket packages during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction. The auction is currently underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 9 p.m. CT on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos, and baseballs from some of the biggest stars. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.
All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide Major League Baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children, and financial assistance for families in need.
"Each year thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said former MLB umpire and Board President for UMPS CARE Charities Gary Darling. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."
Among the Royals items for sale include a George Brett signed jersey and bat, a Mike Moustakas signed jersey and bat, and a Perez signed bat and batting helmet.