Royals’ Perez catches for first time since surgery

MLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Salvador Perez was back behind the plate Friday 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.

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

A five-time Gold Glove winner, the 29-year-old had not caught in a game since Sept. 26, 2018.

Perez 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 on 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.”

Royals right-hander Trevor Rosenthal struck out two in a perfect third inning.

The Giants’ Darrin Ruf hit a two-run homer in the second off Royals closer Ian Kennedy.

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

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