Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Blast Sox for Sweep ; Royals: Yost Predicts 125-160 Homers in '15

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Blast Sox for Sweep ; Royals: Yost Predicts 125-160 Homers in '15

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ned Yost doesn't really like to talk about home runs. It's not that he doesn't want them to happen, it's just that for much of his tenure as manager of the Kansas City Royals, the team has lacked power and might.

But before Thursday's game against the Chicago White Sox, when asked about his team's power potential, the KC skipper went around the diamond and predicted the home run totals for each of his starting position players. The first name he rattled off was catcher Salvador Perez.

"I think Salvador Perez has an opportunity to hit 20 home runs," Yost stated.

Well, Perez took one step closer to reaching that mark as he blasted his first home run of the season in the Royals' 4-1 win at Kauffman Stadium.

"Every time you hit the ball good, no matter what field you play on, good things are going to happen," Perez said. "We'll take home runs, but we just try to hit a good pitch and try to hit the ball hard and do whatever we have to do to win the game."

Perez's shot in the sixth off Chicago left-hander John Danks (0- 1) traveled 399 feet and landed in the left-field seats, giving the Royals (3-0) a 4-0 lead. The pitch came on a 3-2 count, and Perez said he knew what was coming.

"You just got to see the ball and hit the ball hard," he said. "Danks likes to throw a lot of changeups in 3-2 counts, and I saw it out of his hand and hit it pretty good."

While Perez's homer gave the Royals some extra cushion, it also helped save the bullpen as Yost didn't have to use Kelvin Herrera or Wade Davis, giving them some extra rest before the team's first road trip, which begins Friday against the Angels.

"Salvy's home run was huge," Yost said. "I didn't want to go in there tomorrow not having either one of those guys, and if they had gone back-to-back days that probably would have been the case."

The Royals hit just 95 homers last year, but Yost is expecting a few more in 2015. …

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