Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez breaks Johnny Bench’s catcher record with 46th HR


CLEVELAND — Salvador Perez hit his 46th home run, breaking Johnny Bench’s record for homers by a catcher in a season as the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on Monday.

Perez, 31, hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, topping Bench’s total from 1970 for the most by a player who played at least 75% of his team’s games at catcher.

Starting again behind the plate — the durable All-Star has seen some time at designated hitter — Perez drove a 1-2 pitch from Triston McKenzie into the left field bleachers, a drive that traveled 429 feet. Perez pointed to the sky after crossing home plate and was hugged by several teammates as he entered the dugout.

Perez also moved into a tie for the major league lead in homers with Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

It’s been a long road for Perez this season to put himself in contention for the home run title. He trailed Shohei Ohtani — the home run leader at the time — by 12 at the All-Star break and made up the distance by hitting 25 homers since July 24.

Only Jimmie Foxx in 1935 has won the home run title after trailing the leader by at least 12 dingers at the All-Star break, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Perez also leads the majors with 115 RBIs and is the first primary catcher with that many RBIs since Mike Piazza in 1999.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.



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