Perez and Jorge Bonifacio hit back-to-back homers during a four-run sixth inning, Heath Fillmyer pitched into the eighth and the Kansas City Royals held on for a 6-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
The loss by the Twins, who occupy second place in the woeful AL Central, reduced the division-leading Cleveland Indians’ magic number to two.
Perez’s 420-foot drive to left field was his 25th homer. He became the first AL catcher with back-to-back seasons of at least 25 home runs since Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, who did it three straight years from 1999-2001. Another Hall of Famer, Mike Piazza, had eight consecutive seasons of 30 or more homers, ending in 2002.
Perez hit a career-high 27 homers last year.