Salvador Perez of the Royals has matched Johnny Bench’s single-season HR record for catchers.

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Salvador Perez of the Royals has matched Johnny Bench’s single-season HR record for catchers.

Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals blasted his 45th home run of the season on Thursday against the Oakland Athletics, tying Johnny Bench of the Hall of Fame for most home runs by a catcher in a single season.

Perez hit a two-run homer in the first inning of the Royals’ 7-2 loss to the Athletics, tying Bench for the most home runs by a catcher who played at least 75% of his team’s games in 1970.

Perez, 31, is presently tied for the most home runs in MLB with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays. Perez has 112 RBIs this season, which leads the majors.

Royals manager Mike Matheny stated, “We’re experiencing a special season.” “We’re watching a unique player. It’s pretty rare to be able to have a chat with someone who most people consider to be the best ever.”

With 197 home runs, Perez tied Mike Sweeney for second place on the Royals’ all-time home run leaderboard. With 317 home runs, George Brett holds the club record.

Perez, a seven-time All-Star, is three home runs shy of breaking Jorge Soler’s single-season team record of 48 home runs in 2019.

Salvy’s 45th home run of the season ties him for the most by a primary catcher in a single season (75 percent of games at catcher) in @MLB history with Johnny Bench.

His 197th game as a #Royal ties him for second all-time with Mike Sweeney. — Kansas City Royals (@Royals) September 16, 2021 pic.twitter.com/ZghduWSZ0y

Perez has been lights out at the plate over the last two seasons after returning from an elbow injury that forced him to miss the whole 2019 season. In 2020 and 2021, he hit 56 home runs, which is the most in the majors during that time period, and he had 144 RBIs, which is third.

Bench, a two-time National League MVP, played his entire MLB career (1967-83) with the Cincinnati Reds, hitting 389 home runs in his career. With 2,048 hits and 1,376 RBIs, the 14-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion had a lifetime batting average of.267.

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