KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez tapped his bat twice on the plate to make sure it wasn’t cracked, then sent the next pitch he saw from Toronto reliever T.J. Zeuch into the left-field fountains, breaking open a scoreless game and sending the Kansas City Royals to a 2-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Brady Singer kept the Blue Jays off the board through six innings. Kyle Zimmer (1-0) and Josh Staumont each worked a perfect inning, and Greg Holland finished off the two-hitter for his second save of the season.
Kansas City has won a major league-leading 55 consecutive games when ahead after seven innings.
“Well, we can start by talking about Salvy again,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said, “because he just continues to amaze us. Our fans love him and he keeps doing things to make them love him more. Just so fun to watch.”
Perez’s two-run shot off Zeuch (0-2) in the seventh inning came one day after his two-out, walk-off homer gave the Royals a 3-2 win and split of their doubleheader. That homer soared an estimated 459 feet, the one Sunday a mere 441.
Kansas City also won the opener Thursday night to take a series from Toronto for the first time since September 2017.
“That shutout to me, just giving up a couple hits — there’s a lot of pride that catchers take,” said Matheny, himself a former backstop, “and I know Salvy takes a lot of pride in how that game unfolds. But they all did a terrific job.”
The Royals won while leaving 13 on base, and the teams combined to go 1 for 18 with runners in scoring position.
“We’re just showing up and trying to do our best,” said Perez, whose banner week included a 4-for-4 performance against the Angels in which he had his 1,000th hit and a walk-off pickoff against Los Angeles the very next night.