Catcher Salvador Perez's outstanding game was not enough, as the Kansas City Royals lose 4-3 to the Oakland Athletics, who remain a game ahead of the Houston Astros for the AL West lead.
Perez went 3-for-4, hitting two home runs and a 114 mph single, but didn't get the chance to win the game after the Royals just failed to score in the eighth and ninth innings and Elvis Andrus hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
Kansas City drops to a 30-32 record on the season, while Oakland improves to 38-27. Here are three things I took away from tonight's game.
There is no catcher in baseball that I'd take over Salvador Perez right now
Perez has been absolutely incredible in the month of June to this point. We are 10 games into the month and Perez has three multi-home run games. Now is Perez the best catcher in baseball? No, he isn't. But there isn't a hotter power-hitting catcher right now other than Perez and it is a blessing to have him hitting third in the Royals lineup right now. Entering this game, Perez had an OPS of .963 and a slugging percentage of .657 in the month of June, and both numbers were certainly improved upon tonight.
Brady Singer remains a very hot and cold pitcher
Brady Singer had five great innings tonight, getting 13 whiffs in those five innings (the next highest in the game was the Athletics starter Cole Irvin with eight), but unfortunately, he pitched a sixth inning where he fell apart. In the fourth inning, Singer allowed three runs with two doubles and a two-run home run. These three hits were three of the top four hardest-hit balls in exit velocity in the game, all going over 105 mph. We know the greatness that Singer shows us in the majority of his innings, but he has got to find a way to prevent these disaster innings from occurring if he wants to have the long and great career in the majors that he should have.
Michael A. Taylor needs a rest day or two
Taylor has been a positive addition for Kansas City and he is a great defensive presence, but right now, he is way off in his hitting. Before tonight, Taylor had a .531 OPS in the month of June and he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts tonight, which will obviously make it even lower. According to Baseball Savant, Taylor is in the first percentile in whiff percentage, third percentile in strikeout percentage and 14th percentile in xwOBA on the season. It's just not working right now and the Royals need to try something different for a couple of games or more.