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Royals' Salvador Perez hits 46th home run, breaks single-season record for catchers

Royals' Salvador Perez hits 46th home run, breaks single-season record for catchers
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, shown Aug. 9, 2021, hit a two-run homer during the fifth inning of Monday's game against the Cleveland Indians to set the new single-season record. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Kansas City Royals slugger Salvador Perez belted his 46th home run of the 2021 season, breaking Baseball Hall of Fame member Johnny Bench's single-season record for homers by a catcher.

The 31-year-old Perez hit a two-run homer during the fifth inning of Monday's game against the Cleveland Indians, surpassing Bench's home run total from 1970 for the most by an individual who played at least 75% of his team's games at catcher.

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"It was unbelievable," Perez said after the Royals' 7-2 win over the Indians. "I thank God for this. It's amazing."

Perez also moved into a tie for the MLB lead in home runs with Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and leads the majors with 115 RBIs. Perez is the first catcher with that many RBIs since former New York Mets star Mike Piazza in 1999.

"It's just hard to get your head around, to be honest," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "The long history in this game and how many great players have come through. For him to do something that nobody's done, it's amazing."

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Perez tied Bench's record Thursday night in Kansas City as the Royals faced the Seattle Mariners.

In 149 games this season, Perez has recorded a .275 batting average with 159 hits and 81 runs scored.

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