Hot-hitting Perez can’t escape No. 9 spot
Catcher Salvador Perez, with his .371 batting average and .677 slugging percentage in 17 games since coming off the disabled list, batted ninth for the Royals on Monday night.
“I don’t want to keep him down,” manager Ned Yost said.
So why was Perez, who homered in his first at-bat to lead off the third inning in the Royals’ 9-4 loss to the Mariners, dropped to the ninth slot? Yost proceeded to go over his entire batting order.
“(Lorenzo) Cain is swinging the bat really well, so the fifth spot is taken,” Yost said. “(Alex) Gordon’s got the No. 1 spot. He’s been very productive in it. (Alcides) Escobar has done a nice job in the two, and that’s the spot we envision keeping him at long term.
“We envision the same for Eric Hosmer in the three hole. He’s struggling a little bit right now, but kind of like Escobar last year, I want him accustomed to that three spot because I think that’s where he’s going to be his whole career.
“We got Billy (Butler) hitting four, so we can’t put him in the four. Moose (Mike Moustakas) has really done a nice job in the sixth, so he (Perez) doesn’t fit in the sixth.
“In the seventh, we’ve got Frenchy (Jeff Francoeur). We switched Yuni (Betancourt) and Cain around because Cain was hitting eight. So that leaves one spot. That’s where he’s (Perez) at.
“I think Sal fits in that spot. If the sixth, seventh and eighth guys get on, he can drive them in. He can get on for the one, two and three guys. I think he’s eventually going to be up (in the order), but right now, the one spot we’ve got him hitting is ninth, and that’s where he’s probably going to remain for a while.”
Perez finished the night 1-for-3 with a walk.
— LHP Jonathan Sanchez, who is winless in 11 starts, lasted just 1 1/3 innings Monday, his shortest start of the season, in a 9-4 loss to the Mariners. He gave up seven hits, including two home runs, and seven runs. Sanchez’s lone victory this season came in his first start, April 8 at Anaheim.
—LHP Everett Teaford was scheduled to start Tuesday, but that is off. With LHP Jonathan Sanchez knocked out in the second inning Monday, Teaford was pushed into a long-relief role. Teaford worked five innings, allowing three hits and one run, a Dustin Ackley homer, while throwing 79 pitches. “You’ve got to get outs regardless when you go in, and I felt like I did all right with that,” Teaford said. “As far as being unprepared, I wouldn’t say I was unprepared, but I wasn’t completely ready.”
Manager Ned Yost said he did not know who would draw the Tuesday start. One possibility would be LHP Doug Davis, who is 5-1 with a 3.48 ERA with Class AAA Omaha and is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Storm Chasers.
—1B Eric Hosmer snapped an 0-for-12 skid with an RBI single in the seventh inning. Hosmer drew walks in his first two plate appearances.
—CF Lorenzo Cain made his eighth start of the season and hit in a fifth different spot in the batting order. Cain batted fifth Monday, and went 1-for-4, after being in the cleanup spot Sunday. He has also batted second, seventh and ninth.
— RHP Luis Mendoza is 1-3 in his past six starts, but five of them have been quality starts. He has a 3.11 ERA in that stretch, allowing two runs or fewer in four of the six.
— C Manny Pina, who recently came off the disabled list and was optioned to the minors, homered for the second consecutive game Monday. Pina, who had been out all season after having right knee surgery in February, was recently activated and optioned to Class AA Northwest Arkansas. He begun a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Arizona League on June 25. In nine games for Northwest Arkansas through Monday, he’s hitting .296 (8-for-27).
BY THE NUMBERS: 1-6, 7.76 — LHP Jonathan Sanchez’s record and ERA through 12 starts this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Trust me, if I knew, it would be fixed already.” — LHP Jonathan Sanchez, on what’s going wrong this season.