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Perez homers twice, leads Duffy, Royals past Twins

By ADAM CZECH

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Salvador Perez and Danny Duffy both enjoyed big nights on Wednesday. After the game, they just wanted to talk about each other.

Perez homered twice, got four hits and sent a message to Minnesota pitcher Andrew Albers after a high-and-inside fastball, leading the Kansas City Royals over the Twins 8-1.

"I can't say enough about our guy behind the plate," Duffy said. "Salvy really killed it."

Duffy (2-0) pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings hours after being promoted from Triple-A. Minnesota lost its fourth in a row.

Perez hit a two-run homer in the fourth, a 415-foot drive into the upper deck in left field off Albers (2-2) that made it 3-0.

When Perez came up again in the sixth, Albers threw an up-and-in pitch that sent Perez tumbling to the ground.

The 23-year-old catcher, who missed a week with a concussion earlier this month, took his helmet off and pointed at his side, telling Albers to aim lower if he's going to throw inside. Albers held both of his arms out and had a few words of his own for Perez.

Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt warned both benches. Perez then struck back by lining a single that whizzed over Albers' head.

"He got me hyped when he answered with the line drive up the middle," Duffy said. "I was very excited about that. Salvy's a monster back there. I can't really say anything else."

Perez hit another two-run homer in the eighth, connecting off reliever Casey Fien in the eighth.

Albers said he meant no harm with the pitch that sent Perez diving.

"I'm not trying to go after his head. I'm not trying to hit him in that situation," Albers said. "I am trying to go inside, and sometimes it gets away. Again, if I could throw 99 pitches exactly where I wanted to, I'm probably going to have a good night. But unfortunately that one did get away, and it didn't look very good.

"That's part of baseball. He dives in a little bit, and I don't even think it was all that far inside," he said.

Perez had his first career multihomer game. In 15 games against the Twins this season, Perez is hitting .410 with four doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.

Duffy was called up from the minors and replaced the struggling Wade Davis in the rotation. Duffy allowed five hits and struck out seven in his third start with the Royals since having elbow surgery last June.

"Sometimes he gets too excited on the mound, so I just tell him to keep down a little bit," Perez said about Duffy. "I tell him to work both sides of the plate and that's what he did tonight. That's why he was so good tonight."

Duffy has shuffled among Kansas City, Triple-A Omaha and Double-A Northwest Arkansas as he comes back from surgery.

In three August starts with the Royals, Duffy has a 1.10 ERA and has struck out 17. The tall and thin lefty hasn't given up a run in his last 12.2 innings.