Salvy’s blasts propel KC sweep

Salvador Perez hit a pair of critical home runs Wednesday in both games of a day-night doubleheader against St. Louis as the Royals swept both, 6-4 and 8-5.



July 11, 2024 - 2:24 PM

Hunter Renfroe #16 of the Kansas City Royals congratulates Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals after Perez hit a home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth inning during game one of a doubleheader at Busch Stadium on July 10, 2024, in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images/TNS

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Salvador Perez homered in both games and MJ Melendez added a solo shot in the nightcap to help the Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 for a sweep of a day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

Kansas City took the opener 6-4. The Royals have won three in a row to improve to 51-43 — a season after winning just 56 games.

Michael Wacha (6-6) went five innings for the victory in the second game. He pitched seven seasons in St. Louis (2013-2019) and was the MVP of the 2013 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This was his first start in St. Louis since leaving five years ago.

“There were definitely some emotions there,” Wacha said. “It was hard to treat it like just another start.”

Lars Nootbaar homered for St. Louis in the second game to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the second.

Closer James McArthur picked up his 17th save of the season and second of the day. McArthur had not pitched over the previous six days and was ready for the two-game challenge.

“It was just one of those things where you just throw and see how you’re feeling,” McArthur said.

Perez led off the sixth with his 16th of season to pushed the lead to 6-4.

“He makes us go,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said about Perez. “The middle of the order is big for us and no one is bigger than Salvy.”

Perez was 3 for 7 with two homers and four RBI in the doubleheader. It was the second time in his career that he went deep in both games of the doubleheader. The first came on May 21, 2017 against Minnesota.

Melendez began the third with his 10th of the season.

Wacha gave up four runs on seven hits over over five innings. He had allowed two earned runs or fewer in his previous eight starts.

Kyle Isbel added a solo homer leading off the ninth for the Royals, who were playing their first day-night doubleheader since July 15, 2023.

Isbel says the group proved a point with the road sweep.

“It shows what kind of team that we have,” Isbel said. “It was a long day and you just have to stay locked in at all times.”

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