Salvy catches in a game for first time since Tommy John surgery

Salvador Perez caught the first four innings of the Royals-Giants game Friday.
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SURPRISE, Ariz. — Salvador Perez was back behind the plate for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

The six-time All-Star caught the first four innings of the Kansas City Royals‘ 3-1 loss to a San Francisco split squad Friday.

“I was super-excited to be back behind home plate,” Perez said. “I feel great. I feel good. I wasn’t nervous.”

A five-time Gold Glove winner, Perez had not caught in a game since Sept. 26, 2018.

Perez, 29, hurt a ligament in his right elbow during drills in spring training last year, and Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed Tommy John surgery March 6.

“It was emotional,” Perez said. “It was kind of like Opening Day — once you catch the first pitch, it’s a regular game. I blocked some balls, threw to second base between innings. It was all great.”

Trevor Rosenthal struck out two in a perfect inning.

Darrin Ruf hit a two-run homer in the second off Ian Kennedy.

Jeison Guzman, who turned 21 in October, homered in the ninth for Kansas City.