KANSAS CITY -- There's nothing Royals catcher Salvador Perez loves better than pleasing his fans.And prior to Friday night's series opener against the Indians, Perez promised a fan named Colin Couch he would hit a home run for him.:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::Perez didn't waste much time.
KANSAS CITY -- There's nothing Royals catcher Salvador Perez loves better than pleasing his fans.
And prior to Friday night's series opener against the Indians, Perez promised a fan named Colin Couch he would hit a home run for him.
:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::
Perez didn't waste much time. He belted a three-run home run to right-center field in his first at-bat, giving the Royals an early lead and making at least one fan very happy. Ryan O'Hearn and Hunter Dozier hit back-to-back homers in the ninth for a 5-4 walk-off win on Players' Weekend at Kauffman Stadium.
Perez's homer, his 22nd, projected to travel 454 feet, according to Statcast™, making it the longest home run by a Royals hitter this season. Jorge Soler hit the second-longest at 444 feet against the Rangers on May 25 at Globe Life Park.
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Perez said he had met Couch before, but he didn't know Couch was at the ballpark until manager Ned Yost told him he needed to meet someone during batting practice.
"I was in the cage," Perez said. "The young guy, I've known him for a long time. I've met him before. He was outside, I think, and I was in the cage hitting before the game, and [Ned] said, 'Hey, I want you to come and meet somebody. I know a guy, and I just want you to say hi to him.' He was so happy. He had my jersey and everything. I gave him one of my wristbands ... he has it.
"We were talking, and I said, 'Hey, if I hit a homer, it's for you.' He was so happy. He was excited and all that. After I hit a homer, I was looking and he was close to my family [in the stands]. It was exciting. So it's happy for me. It's exciting for me."
Perez said he's never made a promise like that before.
"It was the first time," Perez said. "I really need to do it more.
"Tomorrow, somebody in the stands, I'm going to tell them, 'I'm going to hit a homer for you,'" he added with a laugh. "I'm going to do it for somebody."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.