ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Kirby Yates (0-1), the fifth Tampa Bay reliever after starter Alex Cobb left the game in the 7th, entered with runners on first and third with one out and gave up Perez's towering shot into the left-field corner.
It's been a big week for Perez, chosen Sunday to start at catcher for the American League in next week's All-Star game.
Aaron Crow (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Greg Holland got three outs for his 24th save.
The second-place Royals return home Thursday night to begin a four-game series against AL Central-leading Detroit.
Rays have Thursday off before opening a three game home series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.