Royals

Perez sidelined as precaution, expected to play soon

Updated: 2013-09-06T03:53:30Z

By SAM McDOWELL

The Kansas City Star

A foul tip sidelined Royals catcher Salvador Perez once again Thursday.

But perhaps not for long this time.

Perez was removed from the game Thursday after a Dustin Ackley foul ball struck his catcher's mask in the fifth inning. The Royals announced his removal as a precaution, and they're hopeful his absence will be short.

Perez initially stayed in the game —and drove in a run with a single in the bottom half of the fifth — before he was removed for pinch-runner Brett Hayes after reaching first base.

Royals manager Ned Yost said Perez experienced nausea and dizziness after returning to the locker room but the feelings quickly subsided. Perez also passed concussion tests after the game, Yost said.

"When he got hit, he kind of fell backwards, but we went and checked on him and he was fine," Yost said. "When he got the hit and got to first base, he started to get a little dizzy. I wasn't going to take any chances."

Perez spent seven days in early August on the disabled list with a low-grade concussion. He took a series of foul balls off his mask over a nine-game road trip before a particular shot in extra innings of an Aug. 3 game against the Mets induced the concussion symptoms.

Yost said Thursday's incident didn't ignite the same symptoms.

"If he comes in feeling good (Friday), he'll be ready to go," Yost said.

Ventura issues apology

A day after Class AAA Omaha removed right-hander Yordano Ventura from a playoff start, Royals officials say his status for the remainder of the Pacific Coast League playoffs is "to be determined."

Ventura was pulled from the start because he arrived late to the ballpark.

Regarded as the Royals' most advanced pitching prospect, Ventura issued an apology via Twitter on Thursday afternoon.

"I want to apologize to my teammates, trainers, family and fans if, through my actions and behavior, I have failed or offended you in some way," Ventura tweeted. "I understand that my behavior yesterday was not the best and is not acceptable. Once again, excuse me."

Brian Sanches started in Ventura's place Wednesday and led the Omaha Storm Chasers to a 3-1 victory in Oklahoma City in the opening game of the PCL playoffs.

Ventura, 21, is 5-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 15 games with Omaha this season.

The best-of-five series continues Thursday in Oklahoma before moving to Omaha for Game Three on Friday. Omaha lists Justin Marks as Friday's starting pitcher.

Cain makes return

Lorenzo Cain entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning Thursday, his first appearance since he strained his left oblique while taking batting practice prior to an Aug. 9 game against Boston. Cain replaced Justin Maxwell in right field.

The Royals activated Cain from the disabled list Wednesday, though he is still unable to hit. While he has taken swings in the batting cage, he plans to take regular batting practice on the field Friday for the first time since his injury.

"It only (affects) hitting, but it's definitely coming along pretty well as of late," Cain said. "I've hit in the cages the last five days, and it's getting better each day."

Giavotella gets start

Second baseman Johnny Giavotella returned to the Royals lineup Thursday for the first time in seven weeks. Recalled from Class AAA Omaha two days earlier, Giavotella slid into the seventh spot in the batting order against Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders.

Giavotella was 0 for 2 against Saunders — dropping his average to .194 — before being removed for pinch-hitter Carlos Pena in the fifth inning. It marked the Royals debut for Pena, who struck out looking with the bases loaded and the Royals trailing 5-3.

Giavotella was 7 for 34 in his first stint with the Royals this season before he was optioned back to Omaha. He hit .286 with seven home runs and 46 RBIs for the Storm Chasers this season.

Etc.

• Pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez put an end to Royals closer Greg Holland's streak of 31 straight saves when he blasted a game-tying solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning. Holland had not allowed a run since July 23 — a span of 17 straight scoreless outings. His previous blown save came May 6 against the White Sox.

• Emilio Bonifacio collected four hits for the third time in his career. His last-four hit game came as a member of the Florida Marlins on July 2, 2009.

• Mike Moustakas' walk-off home run was the first for the Royals since Perez hit one on Sept. 15, 2012

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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