HOUSTON (AP) — Fresh off winning the MVP award in the World Series, Salvador Perez kept waiting for his first real big hit of 2016.
On Wednesday night, he delivered.
Perez tagged Houston reliever Ken Giles for a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, lifting the Kansas City Royals over the Astros 4-2 Wednesday night.
The champion Royals have taken two of the three from the team they beat in the decisive Game 5 of the AL Division Series last October. This four-game set wraps up Thursday.
Giles (0-1) retired the first two batters in the eighth before walking Alex Gordon on a full count. Perez followed with a drive off the facade above the Crawford Boxes in left field for his first homer of the year.
“He got a slider and he didn’t miss it,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Giles has given up three home runs in four games, and flung his glove in the dugout after this latest shot. He was acquired from Philadelphia in the offseason after giving up a total of three homers in 113 games over the past two years.
“Nothing happened to Giles, it’s more a mistake at the wrong time to the wrong hitter and he took advantage of it,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.
Jose Altuve had three hits for Houston, including a solo home run. He tied it at 2 with an RBI double in the seventh off Luke Hochevar (1-0).
Kelvin Herrera pitched the eighth and Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his first save.
The Royals scored twice in the sixth following pitcher Scott Feldman’s error. Feldman fielded Kendrys Morales’ dribbler and overthrew first base, allowing Lorenzo Cain to score before Perez hit a sacrifice fly.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura gave up one run on four hits with six strikeouts in six innings. He walked three after walking six in his first outing.