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Salvy's four-hit game rates in Royals openers

DETROIT -- Salvador Perez's 4-for-4 performance in Monday's 4-3 loss to the Tigers tied a Royals record for most hits on Opening Day.

The catcher started out with two doubles, one of them a 400-foot shot to the base of the center-field wall, and then had two singles.

Perez became just the fourth Royals player to have four hits on Opening Day. He's the first since Fred Patek in 1979. The others were Amos Otis in 1977 and Lou Piniella in 1969, the first opener.

His first three hits came against Tigers starter Justin Verlander and the ace right-hander causes no fear for Perez. In his career, Perez is 11-for-24 (.458) against him.

"He's going to make a mistake like anybody else so if he gives you a pitch, you've got to hit it. If you miss that, you're in trouble," Perez said.

Perez was more concerned about the wild pitch from Aaron Crow that he couldn't block on a strikeout, allowing a Tigers run to score in the seventh inning.

"It got in the dirt. I tried to block or catch the ball," Perez said. "I think it was harder because I had to go to my left side. It's easier to go to the right side."

Royals manager Ned Yost agreed that it was a difficult pitch for Perez to handle.

"It was a slider that was supposed to be down-and-away. It backed up and Salvy couldn't get a handle on it, and it went back to the screen," Yost said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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