Royals wide receiver Salvador Perez made history Monday, hitting his 46th homer of the season and breaking Johnny Bench’s longtime record for home runs by a wide receiver (45) in the process.
Perez’s big moment came in the fifth inning of Game 1 of a doubles program against the Indians. His record, Kansas City’s third home run by two points in the game, gave the Royals a 7-0 lead in a possible 7-2 victory:
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Bench, who set the record in 1970 – in his fourth season only in majors – was happy to congratulate Perez on his achievement:
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Perez, who had a 274 / 0.314 / 0.542 slash line entering Monday’s doubles program, had a career year at plate, setting personal bests in home runs, races (80), hits (157) and produced points (115).
The Grade 11 catcher has more than Bench’s record at his disposal this year. He’s also in a close race with the Blue Jays ‘Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (46) and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (44) for the MLB lead in the circuits. Bench was the last player to lead the majors in the circuits when a main receiver (75% of games played that season) was Bench when he scored 40 homers in 1972. He could also become the first receiver to leading the MLB in RBIs since Bench led in 129 in 1974.
Perez (115) has a slim lead over runner-up Jose Abreu of the White Sox (113).