Royals catchers Brayan Peña and Humberto Quintero knew that when Salvador Perez returned from an injury their playing time would decrease.
By JAYSON JENKS
Special to The Star
Yet Peña and Quintero, both veterans, are helping to mentor the 22-year-old Perez, who played for the first time this season on Friday.
We both knew that we were going to be his backups when he came back, Peña said. The fact that hes back, hes a great asset to our team because hes a young guy with a lot of talent and a lot of desire.
Manager Ned Yost said the Royals will monitor Perezs workload until the All-Star break so Perez can ease his way back into everyday duty. Perez started Friday, didnt play Saturday and returned to the lineup on Sunday with a hit and an RBI.
At some point, the Royals will part with either Peña or Quintero.
Right now, though, Peña and Quintero watch film with Perez.
Hes always watching, hes always paying attention, Yost said. Youll turn around in the game, and hell be talking to (bench coach) Chino (Cadahia) or hell be talking to Q about a situation or hell be sitting next to (pitching coach) Dave Eiland. Hes a kid that seeks knowledge and wants to get better every day.
Perez signed a five-year contract extension before the season but missed the first 67 games after suffering torn cartilage in his left knee. Peña is under contract for one more year, while Quintero becomes a free agent at the end of this season.
Hosmer gets day off
Eric Hosmer didnt play Sunday, though Yost said it was intended only to give the struggling Hosmer rest on a hot day.
Its as simple as that, Yost said.
Hosmer is just one for his last 11 and has had more than one hit only twice in June. He is hitting just .213.
Its more frustration, I think, Yost said. Hes working so hard to get it right, and hes just struggling to get it right.
Yuniesky Betancourt, one of the Royals most consistent hitters in June, also got Sunday off in place of Irving Falu. Yost put Peña at DH and hit Mike Moustakas third for just the second time this season. Moustakas had three hits, including two home runs.
Big day for Beltran
On the eight-year anniversary of the day he was traded from Kansas City to the Houston Astros, Carlos Beltran drilled a three-run homer in the first inning.
The homer gave him 1,201 RBIs for his career, 17th among active players. It was his first home run at Kauffman Stadium since June 24, 2004, the day he left the Royals.
It was good for me to be back, Beltran said. I got the opportunity to see some old friends and some people I havent seen in eight years. Today, George Brett came into the clubhouse looking for me. That was pretty special for me. We talked about the years we were here. I do appreciate all the time that I spent with him.
Yost is hopeful the organization can retain reliever Roman Colon in a minor-league role.
Colon allowed four earned runs in 41/3 innings in an 11-4 loss to St. Louis on Friday before being designated for assignment to create room for left-hander Francisley Bueno.
We dont want to lose Colon, Yost said.
The Royals will have 10 days to reach a resolution, which could include placing Colon on waivers.
• Saturday: 29,063
• 2012 season (through 34 games): 806,237
• 2011 season (through 34 games): 629,189
• Ahead: 177,048
• 2012 average: 23,713
• 2011 average: 18,506
Rustin Dodd of The Star contributed to this report