Royals

Royals catcher Salvador Perez keeps lead in All-Star voting

Royals catcher Salvador Perez remained atop American League catchers in All-Star voting Tuesday, putting him on pace to start the Midsummer Classic for the fifth consecutive year.

Perez leads all AL catchers in the second voting update with 692,867. He maintains a sizeable lead over Baltimore’s Wellington Castillo (543,146), Houston’s Brian McCann (512,074), the New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez (461,152) and Cleveland’s Yan Gomes (381,178).

Perez had 11 home runs and 31 RBIs going into Tuesday’s game. Royals manager Ned Yost called Perez one of the hardest-working All-Stars he’s seen.

“He’s continuing to improve,” Yost said. “Every day he and (Royals catching coach Pedro Grifol) are in that cage working on his receiving and working on the block. Every day, they’re really going very extensively over the game reports.”

Perez is the only Royal on pace to start in this year’s All-Star Game. First baseman Eric Hosmer (399,545) is fourth in voting behind Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera (475,826), Oakland’s Yonder Alonso (433,470) and Cleveland’s Carlos Santana (420,336).

Perez notched 4,965,838 votes in 2016, when he became the first Royal to lead the league in balloting since George Brett in 1981.

“He puts a lot of effort in it every single day,” Yost said. “In spring training, you’d go out at 8:30 when practice started at 9:30, and he’d be out on that back field working. … He’s just a tremendously diligent worker.”

The 2017 All-Star Game is July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.

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