Perez lifts Royals with 3-run HR in 9th

Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (35) and Jarrod Dyson, center, celebrate after scoring on a three-run homer by Salvador Perez (13) off Tampa Bay Rays reliever Kirby Yates during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 9, 2014 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Royals beat the Rays 5-4. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (35) and Jarrod Dyson, center, celebrate after scoring on a three-run homer by Salvador Perez (13) off Tampa Bay Rays reliever Kirby Yates during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 9, 2014 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Royals beat the Rays 5-4. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Kirby Yates (0-1), the fifth Tampa Bay reliever, entered with runners on first and third with one out and gave up Perez’s towering shot into the left-field corner.

It’s been a big week for Perez, chosen Sunday to start at catcher for the American League in next week’s All-Star game.

Aaron Crow (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Greg Holland got three outs for his 24th save.

The second-place Royals return home Thursday night to begin a four-game series against AL Central-leading Detroit, which has a 4 1/2-game lead.

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